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Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 1, 2018
Contact: John Lyon, Director of Strategic Communications (845) 638-5645
                 Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, D.O., M.P.H., CPE, DABFM, FAAFP (845) 364-2512

HEALTH DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCES ADDITIONAL MEASLES VACCINE CLINICS

FREE measles, mumps, rubella vaccine being offered to Rockland community –
another vaccine clinic added in Pomona on Monday, November 5

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

  • Thursday, November 1, from 4 pm to 7 pm at the Community Outreach Center, located at 21 Remsen Avenue, Suite 201, Monsey, NY 10952
  • Friday, November 2, from 10 am to 1:30 pm at the Community Outreach Center, located at 21 Remsen Avenue, Suite 201, Monsey, NY 10952
  • Sunday, November 4, from 1 pm to 3 pm, Mobile Van- Upper Parking Lot, located at 728 North Main Street, Spring Valley NY 10977 hosted by Refuah Health Center
  • Monday, November 5, from 3 pm to 6 pm, at the Robert Yeager Health Center, Building A, first floor, located at 50 Sanatorium Road in Pomona, NY 10970
  • Tuesday, November 6, from 1 pm to 6 pm at the Darden Center, located at Dr. Berg Lane, Spring Valley, NY 10977

During these clinics, the Health Department and Refuah Health Center will be offering non-immune residents who are 6 months of age and older one dose of MMR vaccine at no cost. People will be triaged (checked) before entering to make sure they are not sick. The MMR vaccine clinics are in response to the measles outbreak in Rockland County, now with 43 confirmed cases to date.

In addition, ALL schools within the Village of New Square and any school with less than a 70% MMR vaccination rate within the geographical area affected by the measles outbreak (Spring Valley, Monsey) will be required to keep un- or under-vaccinated students home until 21 days have passed since the last confirmed measles case in Rockland. This is in addition to the letter issued on October 18, to schools that were attended by students with confirmed cases of measles, that un- or under-vaccinated students remain home.

Questions about if this order affects your child's school can be directed to the New York State Department of Health toll free Measles Information Line at (888) 364-4837.

"We continue to 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 have had physician or provider-confirmed measles or have a lab test confirming immunity. Those born before 1957, and those who have received two doses of measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine, are also considered immune, however there is a very small chance that in this outbreak they may still get measles, but a much less severe case and much less likely to spread to others.

If you are unsure if you are immune to measles, contact your healthcare provider. Routinely, everyone four years and older needs two doses of MMR vaccine unless there are contraindications (medical reasons not to get the vaccine). Two doses of the MMR vaccine can offer 97% protection from the measles. 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.

However, because there is a measles outbreak in Rockland County, the Rockland County Department of Health is currently recommending that children 6 months through 11 months of age get an MMR vaccine now. They will still have to get a vaccine at 12-15 months of age and again at 4-6 years of age, however getting an MMR vaccine now will help give them some protection against measles. Therefore, any child 6 months or older or any adult who has not received their first MMR vaccine yet should get their first MMR vaccine now.

Also, children 1 through 3 years of age who have already received their first MMR vaccine should get a second MMR vaccine now, as long as 28 days have passed since the first MMR vaccine was given to them. This second MMR vaccine will count for school entry. 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.