As children look forward to the start of camp, the Westchester County Department of Health urges parents to assure their campers and any family members who work at camps are up-to-date on their measles and other immunizations and will hold a free measles vaccine clinic on Tuesday in Mount Kisco.
“Before camp, I strongly recommend that all campers and staff born in 1957 or after assure they have had two doses of measles vaccine if they have no history of measles and have had fewer than two doses,” said Health Commissioner Sherlita Amler, MD. “With the largest measles outbreak in more than 20 years underway in New York State, becoming fully vaccinated is our best defense, and it takes two doses to get you there.”
The Health Department will offer free MMR vaccinations on June 18, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., 25 Moore Avenue, Mount Kisco. To receive a vaccine, register in advance at www.health.ny.gov/gotoclinic/60.
Two doses of MMR vaccine, which protects against measles, mumps and rubella, is about 97 percent effective at protecting against this highly infectious disease.
In New York State, camps must maintain immunization records for all campers, including dates for all immunizations against diphtheria, haemophilus influenza type b, hepatitis b, measles, mumps, rubella, poliomyelitis, tetanus and varicella (chickenpox). Most camps also require proof of a recent checkup.
Any camper or staff who is not fully immunized could be sent home or excluded from camp to protect them from getting and spreading disease during an outbreak.
In April, the County Health Department held three special pre-camp clinics to increase MMR coverage among counselors and campers. For more information on immunizations, go to http://health.westchestergov.com.