Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

May 2, 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


During National Infant Immunization Week, April 27 – May 4, Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert urge you to give your children a healthy start in life by making sure they are up-to-date on their vaccinations to protect them from measles and other vaccine-preventable illnesses.

It is important to follow the recommended immunization schedule early in life, before children are exposed to potentially life-threatening diseases. Infants and toddlers can be protected from 14 serious childhood diseases by making sure they get the recommended vaccines by age two.

"The measles outbreak in Rockland County shows how very important vaccinations are. About 92% of the people with confirmed cases of measles either have had no MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine or have unknown immunity, and children six years and under account for about 56% of the confirmed cases of measles in the County," said Dr. Ruppert.

The first dose of MMR vaccine is usually given at 12-15 months of age and the second dose at four to six years of age (age of school entry), although individuals may also be vaccinated later in life. However, because of the measles outbreak, the Rockland County Department of Health recommends that children six 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.

"We applaud the residents who have received the nearly 20,000 MMR vaccinations given in Rockland during our measles outbreak," said County Executive Day. "However, it remains critical that parents make sure their children are up-to-date on all vaccinations for preventable illnesses; we must protect our most vulnerable residents from these potentially deadly diseases."

Protecting babies from whooping cough begins before a baby is even born. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) all pregnant women should receive the whooping cough vaccine, or Tdap during each pregnancy. Family members, including grandparents, need to be immunized against whooping cough as well. Learn more at and

It's never too late to immunize your children. The Health Department's Child Immunization Clinic provides immunizations for common childhood diseases, for children and adolescents enrolled in elementary through high school, on Mondays and Wednesdays at the Robert L. Yeager Health Center in Pomona. For appointments or more information, call (845) 364-2497.

Need help paying for your children's vaccines? A program called Vaccines for Children (VFC) provides free vaccines for eligible children, from birth to age 18. For more information about the VFC program or childhood vaccines, call the Health Department at (845) 364-2662, or visit

Depending on your family's income, your child may be eligible to join Medicaid or Child Health Plus, New York State's health insurance plan for children, for free or at a low cost. For more information, and help with enrolling, call (845) 364-3394.

For more information about the Health Department's Immunization Program, visit For more information about vaccines for your children visit For more information about the measles outbreak visit