A message from Alberta Health Services
With the current increased risk of measles in the Southern Alberta, Alberta Health Services is holding three public immunization clinics. Measles vaccine will be available to:
- Children aged 6 to 12 months. Usually measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine is not offered to children until one year of age.
- Children aged one year and older who have not received the measles vaccine. In Alberta, children are routinely given two doses of MMR vaccine. The second dose is usually given at 4 to 6 years of age (preschool).
- Health care workers who know they are not immune are also invited to attend these clinics
Because of the current situation, the MMR vaccine is available to younger infants,” says Dr. Vivien Suttorp, South Zone Medical Officer of Health. “It is safe and effective. Infants will still require the regular immunization at one year and again at 4 to 6 years of age.”
Unimmunized young children are at risk of measles disease and complications.
The measles immunization clinics are for people who live in areas of Southern Alberta with low immunization rates, in the area bound by Fort Macleod to Bow Island, Raymond to Granum, including the City of Lethbridge and the County of Lethbridge.
The clinics will be held at Lethbridge Exhibition Park:
- Wednesday October 23, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Main Pavilion (south entrance)
- Saturday, October 26, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Heritage Hall
- Monday October 28, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Main Pavilion (south entrance)
If you are uncertain of your child’s immunization status, please contact your local Public Health office.
These clinics are for MMR vaccine only. Influenza immunization is available at regular clinics at the Lethbridge Exhibition (Main Pavilion) on October 22, 24 and 29. Go to www.albertahealthservices.ca/influenza to find clinic locations and times.
AHS will open a measles assessment and treatment centre at Chinook Regional Hospital. The centre will be housed in a portable isolation tent located just outside the hospital, on the corner of 10th Avenue and 17th Street South. Medical staff will be able to direct patients with suspected measles away from physician offices and Emergency Departments to minimize exposure and contamination within the facilities.
Symptoms of measles include fever, cough, runny nose or red eyes, and a red blotchy rash that appears three to seven days after fever starts. The rash typically begins behind the ears and on the face, spreading down to the body, and finally to the arms and legs. Measles can spread by coughing and sneezing, through air currents. Because it is an airborne disease, it is extremely contagious.
Anyone with symptoms is reminded to avoid contact with others and call HealthLink or a physician, before going to a clinic or hospital. To speak to a HealthLink Alberta nurse, call 1-866-408-LINK (5465).
Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than 3.9 million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.
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