HEALTH DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCES ADDITIONAL MEASLES VACCINE CLINICS

FREE measles, mumps, rubella vaccine being offered to Rockland community

Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert inform residents that the Health Department will be holding measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine clinics on:

  • Thursday, October 25, from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. at the Community Outreach Center, located at 21 Remsen Avenue, Suite 201, Monsey, NY 10952
  • Friday, October 26, from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. at the Darden Center, located at Dr. Berg Lane, Spring Valley, NY 10977

The sites are accessible and have plenty of parking. During this clinic, the Health Department will be offering non-immune residents who are 6 months of age through age 60 one dose of MMR vaccine at no cost. If you were born before January 1, 1957, you do not need to be vaccinated.

The MMR vaccine clinics are in response to the measles outbreak in Rockland County, with 15 confirmed cases to date. “We encourage everyone to be up-to-date with the MMR vaccine to help protect them in case of any future exposure to measles in Rockland. Measles is highly contagious, so anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of getting the disease, and they may spread measles to people who cannot get vaccinated because they are too young or have specific health conditions,” said Dr. Ruppert.

Individuals are considered protected or immune to measles if they were born before 1957, have received two doses of measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine, have had physician or provider-confirmed measles, or have a lab test confirming immunity. If you are unsure if you are immune to measles, contact your healthcare provider. Individuals should receive two doses of MMR vaccine to be fully protected. Typically, the first dose of MMR vaccine should be given at 12-15 months of age and the second dose should be given at four to six years of age (age of school entry), although individuals may also be vaccinated later in life. In New York State, measles immunization is required of children enrolled in schools, daycare, and pre-kindergarten. Since August 1990, college students have also been required to demonstrate immunity against measles.

Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus that is spread by direct contact with nasal or throat secretions of infected people. Measles can be dangerous, especially for babies and young children, as it can lead to pneumonia, brain damage, deafness, and death. Others who are at high risk for complications if they get the measles include pregnant women who are not immune, as well as those who are immunocompromised or immunosuppressed (when your body can’t fight disease). About one out of four people who get measles will be hospitalized.

Symptoms include a fever, rash, cough, conjunctivitis (red watery eyes) or runny nose. People are considered infectious from four days before to four days after the appearance of the rash. Symptoms usually appear 10-12 days after exposure but may appear as early as 7 days and as late as 21 days after exposure.

To prevent the spread of illness, the Department is advising individuals who may have been exposed and who have symptoms consistent with measles to contact their health care provider, a local clinic, or a local emergency department before going for care. This will help to prevent others at these facilities from being exposed to the illness.

Residents can get more information about measles by visiting www.health.ny.gov/publications/2170.pdf and by calling the New York State Department of Health toll free Measles Information Line at 888-364-4837. The Rockland County Department of Health is closely coordinating our response with the New York State Department of Health to ensure the health and safety of all residents.

The Health Department is asking all health care providers to immediately report all cases of suspect measles to the Rockland County Department of Health Communicable Disease Program staff by calling 845-364-2997 during normal business hours, or (845) 364-8600 after hours/weekends. Health Care Providers can call this number for additional information.