B.C. sees boost in measles vaccines in first month of ‘catch-up’ immunization program

More than 3,800 doses of measles vaccinations were administered to B.C. children and youth in April

B.C. saw a significant boost in the number of children and youth vaccinated for measles since it launched its “catch-up” immunization program in April, according to B.C.’s health minister.

More than 3,800 doses of measles vaccinations have been administered to children and youth since B.C. launched pop-up clinics in schools and cities last month, Adrian Dix said in a news release Thursday.

The MMR vaccine, specifically designed to combat the measles virus, was administered across 129 in-school clinics, 1,300 community clinics and at pharmacies.

From January to the end of April, 13,515 doses of the vaccine were provided to school-aged children. That means roughly 600 more vaccines than the monthly average of 3,200 were given through the immunization program.

Dix announced the measles immunization catch-up program on April 1, after 29 people caught the highly-contagious virus since January, stemming from multiple breakouts. Cases have been confirmed in the Lower Mainland, Greater Victoria and the Cariboo.

READ MORE: Maple Ridge mom calls for mandatory measles shots

READ MORE: Should B.C. parents receive money if they make sure their kids are vaccinated?

Measles easily spreads through the air by coughing, sneezing and carried on breath. Symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes, followed a few days later by a rash that starts on the face and spreads to the chest.

The province’s target is 95 per cent immunization.

In April, health authorities reviewed all students’ immunization records, which led to 551,000 letters being sent to parents and guardians, the health ministry said.

From January to the end of April, 13,515 doses of the vaccine were provided to school-aged children.

The program is expected to continue until June.

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