1,650 Burnaby school kids caught up on measles shots in April, May

Nearly 1,650 Burnaby kids caught up on their shots during the first two months of the province’s measles immunization catch-up program.

Announced in March, the program is aimed at getting as many unimmunized and underimmunized kids as possible caught up on their measles vaccinations by the end of the school year.

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In the Fraser Health Region, the public health unit started sending out letters on April 1 to parents of school-aged children without up-to-date shots.

The letters directed families to clinics scheduled at local elementary and high schools.

If a child was immunized by someone other than Fraser Health, parents were asked to email their child’s immunization record to the health authority.

The catch-up program was scheduled to continue through June.

Parents who miss the school clinics can also have their children immunized by a family doctor (all ages) or a pharmacist (age five and up).

Quick Facts:

* Measles is a highly infectious disease that spreads through the air.

* Symptoms of measles 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.

* Complications from measles can include pneumonia, inflammation of the brain (encephalitis), convulsions (seizures), deafness, brain damage and death.

* Children should receive their first dose of measles vaccine at 12 months of age and their second dose at school entry (four to six years of age).

For more information on B.C.’s measles immunization catch-up program, visit tinyurl.com/measlescatchup.

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