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Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 4, 2019
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 OFFERS FREE MEASLES VACCINES ON WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 13

Flu vaccines will also be available

NEW CITY, NY - - Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert encourage residents to get a free measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine on Wednesday, February 13, from 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm at the Martin Luther King Multi-Purpose Center, located at 110 Bethune Blvd. in Spring Valley, New York 10977.

The best way to prevent measles is to remain up-to-date with your measles vaccination. In response to the measles outbreak in Rockland County, now with 130 confirmed cases to date, the Health Department will be offering non-immune individuals, 6 months of age and older, one dose of MMR vaccine.

"We continue to encourage everyone to be up-to-date with the measles, mumps, rubella (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.

Measles is 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.

The Health Department is also offering the flu vaccine to everyone six months and older. Influenza (flu) is now prevalent, or widespread in New York, and in Rockland County, with many cases reported. The best way to prevent the flu, and its complications, is by getting the flu vaccine each year. The flu vaccine offers protection for you through the rest of the flu season. Anyone who hasn't gotten a flu vaccine yet should do so now - it's not too late!

The Health Department is giving the quadrivalent flu vaccine which does not contain preservatives, including thimerosal. The vaccine is called quadrivalent because it offers protection against four different flu virus strains that research shows will be most common during this flu season: two influenza (flu) A virus strains and two influenza B virus strains. The vaccine is free of charge if you are 65 years and older (please bring identification with proof of age), have Medicare or Medicaid (please bring your card), or are uninsured or underinsured. Otherwise, there is a $20 fee (down from $25 last year) for those 6 months through 64 years old. Only cash or checks will be accepted. For those with private health insurance, we will provide you with a receipt to submit to your health insurance for possible reimbursement.

More information about measles, the outbreak, and where you can get an MMR vaccine is available by visiting Rockland County Department of Health's webpage at https://bit.ly/2zh4v1G and by calling the New York State Department of Health toll free Measles Information Line at (888) 364-4837. More information about the flu and flu vaccine is available by visiting http://rocklandgov.com/departments/health/programs-and-services/flu/