Westchester health officials urge residents to check measles vaccine

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WHITE PLAINS – With the largest measles outbreak in the state in decades underway in nearby Rockland County, Westchester County Health Commissioner Sherlita Amler, MD, recommended County residents verify their own measles vaccine status, and assured County residents that the Health Department is closely monitoring the situation.
“We are in close communication with Rockland County and New York State health officials and are prepared to respond should any cases develop here,” Amler said. “Measles is very contagious and can be dangerous for anyone who is unvaccinated or whose natural immunity is suppressed. Now is a good time to check with your doctor about your own and your children’s measles vaccine status, and to get the MMR vaccine if you are not up to date.”
The MMR vaccine provides protection from measles, mumps and rubella. The County Health Department offers appointments for MMR vaccine at no cost for children and adults who are under-insured, uninsured or are college students. To schedule a Friday vaccine visit at the County clinics in Yonkers or White Plains, call (914) 995-5800.
Individuals are considered protected or immune to measles if they have had a lab test confirming immunity. Those born before 1957, and those who have medical documentation of having received two doses of measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine, are also considered immune. Children usually get the first dose of MMR vaccine when they are 12 to 15 months old and again when they are 4 to 6 years old.
If you are unsure if you are immune to measles, contact your healthcare provider. Two doses of the MMR vaccine can offer 97% protection from the measles.
To check the latest travel notices about measles, go to www.cdc.gov/measles/travelers.html
Health care providers should immediately report all suspect cases of measles in Westchester to the Westchester County Department of Health Communicable Disease Program staff at (914) 813-5180 during regular business hours, or (914) 813-5000 after hours/weekends. For more health information, go to www.westchestergov.com/health.