A school-based measles catch-up campaign will run in Yukon schools from September 16 to October 4. The purpose of this campaign is to promote and administer vaccination for eligible children from Kindergarten to Grade 12.
The measles, mumps and rubella vaccine will be offered to children who have not previously been vaccinated or who may not have received both recommended doses. Vaccination will protect children who have not been vaccinated as well as those who cannot be immunized due to medical conditions.
If parents have questions about immunization they are encouraged to talk to a doctor or public health nurse. Parents can also call their local health centre to talk to a registered nurse.
Immunization is the most effective way to keep our children safe from the potentially devastating effects of measles. The measles, mumps and rubella vaccine is very safe and side effects are rare. As more people are immunized the risk of disease for Yukoners is greatly reduced. The goal of the campaign is to increase uptake of measles vaccine to 95 per cent of the eligible population. This helps protect the public against measles outbreaks as well as those who are unable to receive the vaccine for medical reasons.
Yukon Chief Medical Office of Health Dr. Brendan E. Hanley
Measles is a highly infectious viral disease that can have serious complications, but can be prevented with immunization.
Even one case of measles can spread quickly when people are not vaccinated. You can still catch measles one hour after an infected person has left the same room.
Measles outbreaks are on the rise globally which poses an increasing risk for measles to be imported to Yukon. To date this year there have been 82 cases of measles diagnosed in Canada, however, there have been no recent diagnosed cases in Yukon.
This immunization is the best way to protect against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR). Two doses of the MMR vaccine are almost 100 per cent effective at preventing measles.
Side effects, while unusual, are generally mild. Serious side effects to MMR vaccine are very rare and are about 1,000 times less common than serious complications from catching the real disease.
Once the children’s campaign has been completed, MMR vaccine will be available to members of the general public who are not up to date with measles vaccine and not otherwise immune to measles.