Measles vaccines

UPDATE: June 20, 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.
  • The 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.
  • The MMR vaccine is not recommended for infants under 12 months of age. Infants who are less than 12 months of age may not respond to the measles component of the vaccine due to the presence of antibodies received from their mother during pregnancy.
  • The MMR vaccine is only recommended for infants 6 to 11 months of age if traveling overseas to areas with ongoing measles outbreaks. Such infants would still need 2 doses of the MMR vaccine after 12 months of age.