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NTHSSA Reorganizing Vaccine Availability for Measles

The Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority is informing Yellowknife residents that adjustments are being made to help meet the rising demand for measles vaccination appointments after a measles alert was issued earlier this month.

As a result of the increased demand, any appointments already made with Yellowknife Public Health may be rescheduled.

Children under the age of 12 are recommended to receive two doses, four weeks apart. Any adults who were born after 1970 who plan on travelling outside of the NWT are recommended to have received at least two doses at some point in their lifetime.

It is not recommended to give the measles vaccine to infants younger than 6 months, pregnant individuals, or anyone who is immunocompromised.

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The measles vaccine is particularly important because of how quickly the disease can spread to non-immune individuals. Anyone who may be returning to the Territory after March Break is advised to be cautious and monitor for symptoms that could be measles. Some individuals have complications with measles disease, such as ear infections, pneumonia, infections of the brain, and in severe cases measles infection can lead to death.

The symptoms usually begin to appear around 10 to 14 days after infection. The more common symptoms include fevers, dry coughs, runny nose, sore throat, inflamed eyes, and a skin rash that can spread to the whole body and last for up to a week.

Anyone who has general questions about measles or the vaccine can contact the 811 healthline. For inquiries into personal or family immunization records, it is recommended to call your local health centre.

Residents in Yellowknife who want to book a vaccination appointment can call Public Health at 867-767-9120.

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