The Rockland County health commissioner, Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, reminds residents to be vaccinated against measles. The outbreak in the county continues. As of July 8, there were 278 confirmed cases since it began in October.
Free MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccines are available at the Rockland County Department of Health, Building A, second floor clinic area, at 50 Sanatorium Road in Pomona. No appointments are needed. The clinic is open on Mondays July 22 and 29, from 2 to 4 p.m.; Tuesdays July 23 and 30, 2 to 4 p.m.; Wednesdays July 24 and 31, 9 to 11:30 a.m.; Thursday July 25, 9 to 11:30 a.m.; and Fridays, July 19 and 26, 9 to 11:30 a.m.
For an evening appointment call (845) 364-2534, Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“Being up-to-date with your measles vaccination is the best way to help protect yourself, your family, and the community, especially those who cannot get vaccinated because they are too young or have specific health conditions,” Dr. Ruppert said. “We are offering multiple opportunities for residents to get free MMR vaccinations.”
Since the outbreak began, the health department, working with partners including the Refuah Health Center and private pediatricians and family doctors, have administered 24,186 doses of MMR vaccine.
Measles is one of the most contagious viruses; 90 percent of unvaccinated people exposed to the virus will be infected by it. You can catch measles just by being in a room where a person with measles has been, up to two hours after that person is gone. You can catch measles from an infected person even before the rash appears. Because Rockland is so small, the whole county is considered to be at risk.
“We are making progress against this dangerous disease, but we urge everyone to follow the Health Department’s advice; get vaccinated against the measles, and if you are sick with measles stay home,” Rockland County Executive Ed Day said. “This outbreak is still a public health emergency and we need the entire community’s help to end it.”