Measles vaccines

UPDATE: MAY 15, 2019

There are eight lab-confirmed cases of measles on Vancouver Island. Read our latest update to learn more.

Measles Vaccine

The measles vaccine is available as a combined measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine.

Children can get a measles vaccine at their local public health unit.

  • Children may receive the MMR vaccine at 12 months and 4 years from their local public health unit.
  • The provincial measles catch-up program is available for children from kindergarten to grade 12 who may be unimmunized or not fully immunized for measles. Visit islandclinics.ca for clinics near you.

Adults can get a measles vaccine from their family doctor, pharmacist, at a travel clinic, and in some communities at their local public health unit.

  • 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.
  • If you live in South Island, Duncan, Nanaimo and Salt Spring please contact your local pharmacy, family doctor or travel clinic for a measles vaccine. Health units in these communities are unable to immunize people aged 19 and older, because of limited capacity.

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 the Cowichan Valley, Alberni-Clayoquot, and other communities if you have questions, please contact your local  Public Health Unit.

Learn more about measles:

Additional information

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • People who are travelling to areas of the world with increased measles activity should ensure they have been adequately immunized and are protected before leaving.
  • Please take the time to review and update your immunization status, and especially prior to any travel.