Quincy Offers Free Vaccinations After Possible Measles Exposures

The possible exposures occurred in Quincy, North Quincy and Weymouth

The Quincy Health Department is offering free Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccines for adults after a child was diagnosed with measles in the Greater Boston area on May 24.

According to Commissioner Ruth Jones, the free vaccines will be available at the Health Department from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Sunday and Monday.

“Measles can stay live in the air and on surfaces for two hours after. So we look at the time that the confirmed case may have been there and two hours after that and say that’s the time frame that if people were in that area came in contact with that person, that’s when they’re most easy to pass it,” Jones said.

The Health Department vaccinated between 40 and 50 people on Sunday, and they expect the same turnout for Monday.

People can also go to the Health Department for education on measles. Jones says anyone is welcome.

The free vaccine, however, is not available for children.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health confirmed Saturday that a child was diagnosed with measles in the Greater Boston area on May 24.

Jones says the child who contracted the disease did not have the vaccine because it was younger than 12 months.

Exposures to this individual may have occurred at the following locations and times: Weymouth Club in Weymouth on May 18 from 11 a.m.- 3 p.m.; Jack 'n' Jill Childcare at Marina Bay in North Quincy on May 21 from 8:15-10:40 a.m. and 5:15-7:30 p.m.; Star Market in Quincy on May 22 from 4-7 p.m.; Quincy YMCA on May 22 from 2-7 p.m.; Jack 'n' Jill Childcare at Marina Bay in North Quincy on May 23 from 8:15-10:40 a.m. and 5:15-7:30 p.m.; and Crown Colony Medical Center in Quincy on May 24 from 9:10 a.m.-1:40 p.m.

Anyone who visited these locations on the day and times should contact their health care provider to confirm their immunization status, officials said.

This is the second measles case in the Commonwealth in the past year. The first case was also in the Greater Boston area at the beginning of April.

Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD, MPH says the incident comes in the context of a large national and international outbreak.

"Lack of vaccination, combined with domestic and international travel, has resulted in the spread of measles nationally and internationally. Getting vaccinated is the best way for people to protect themselves from this disease," Bharel said.

Early symptoms of measles occur 10 days to two weeks after exposure and may resume a cold. A rash occurs on the skin two to four days after the initial symptoms develop. Health officials say it starts on the head and spreads downward, lasting a few days then disappearing in the same order.

Those who were exposed and begin to develop the symptoms should call their healthcare provider before visiting an office, clinic or emergency department, officials said.

People with measles may be contagious up to four days before and after the rash appears.

Anyone who has had measles in the past or has received two doses of the vaccine is unlikely to develop measles even if exposed. 

Officials urge anyone who does not know their measles immunization status get vaccinated with at least one dose of the MMR vaccine. The vaccine can prevent the disease for up to 72 hours after exposure, and vaccination beyond this window will provide protection from subsequent exposures.

For additional information, contact your local health department or DPH at 617-983-6800. To learn more about measles, visit https://www.mass.gov/service-details/measles.

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