Whitehorse Daily Star

Image title

Photo by Vince Fedoroff

Dr. Brendan Hanley, Yukon's chief medical health officer

YG plans measles immunization catch-up campaign

A school-based measles catch-up campaign will run in Yukon schools from Sept. 16 to Oct. 4, the Yukon government said Monday.

By Whitehorse Star on September 10, 2019

A school-based measles catch-up campaign will run in Yukon schools from Sept. 16 to Oct. 4, the Yukon government said Monday.

The purpose is to promote and administer vaccinations 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, the government said.

Parents or guardians with questions about immunization are encouraged to talk to a doctor or public health nurse. They 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,” said Dr. Brendan Hanley, the territory’s chief medical health officer.

“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,” Hanley added.

“This helps protect the public against measles outbreaks as well as those who are unable to receive the vaccine for medical reasons.”

Once the children’s campaign has been completed, the measles, mumps and rubella (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.

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 the Yukon.

To date this year, there have been 82 cases of measles diagnosed in Canada. None have been in the Yukon.

This immunization is the best way to protect against 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 the MMR vaccine are very rare and are about 1,000 times less common than serious complications from catching the real disease.

Be the first to comment

Add your comments or reply via Twitter @whitehorsestar

In order to encourage thoughtful and responsible discussion, website comments will not be visible until a moderator approves them. Please add comments judiciously and refrain from maligning any individual or institution. Read about our user comment and privacy policies.

Your name and email address are required before your comment is posted. Otherwise, your comment will not be posted.