Measles vaccines

Update: March 21, 2019

Island Health recognizes that people are concerned about their immunization status. Fortunately, there have been no cases of measles on Vancouver Island.

Please take the time to review and update your immunization status, and especially prior to any travel.

The measles vaccine is available as a combined measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, and is available from your local health unit, family doctor, and many pharmacists. 

For children

  • Children may receive the MMR vaccine at 12 months and 4 years. The province has announced an immunization catch-up program to protect against measles.
  • The program is available for children from kindergarten to grade 12 who may be unimmunized or not fully immunized for measles.
  • Immunizations will be provided at schools and local public health units. Watch for information from your child’s school for clinic schedules.
  • Parents of eligible school aged children who are not up to date for measles vaccinations will be contacted by Public Health.

For adults

  • Two doses of the vaccine are recommended for people born in 1970 or later (1957 for health care workers).
  • No booster dose is needed – two doses are 99% effective at preventing measles.

South Island, Duncan, Nanaimo and Salt Spring Public Health Units are unable to immunize clients aged 19 and older, please contact your local pharmacy, family doctor or travel clinic.

MMR vaccine is safe and effective; however, it is a live virus vaccine and cannot be given to some people with certain types of weakened immunity.

Call one of our measles information lines for more information:

South Island: 250-544-7676 ext 27545

Nanaimo/Ladysmith/Gabriola: 250-755-3388

Courtenay/Comox Valley: 250-331-8599

Campbell River and area: 250-850-2120

Mt. Waddington/Port Hardy: 250-902-6079

For other public health locations or if you have questions, please contact a Public Health Unit.

South Island, Duncan, Nanaimo and Salt Spring Public Health Units are unable to immunize clients aged 19 and older, please contact your local pharmacy, family doctor or travel clinic.

Our public health teams will prioritize immunizations for children who have never been vaccinated and who need a second dose. Immunizations are provided according to the immunization schedule.

Learn about measles: https://immunizebc.ca/measles