March 13, 2019 7:03 pm
Updated: March 13, 2019 7:52 pm

Alberta parents concerned about delays in immunizations amidst measles scare

WATCH: New parents are often told that they need to be on top of their child's vaccinations and now it's even more important given a recent measles scare. But for one Calgary mother, getting kids immunized on schedule hasn't been easy. Jenna Freeman reports.

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Nicole Mollina was frustrated when she tried to book her daughter in for her one-year vaccination with Alberta Health Services.

When the mother of four originally called AHS to book an appointment, she was told there was only a two-month window of availability to book and she would have to try and book closer to the actual one-year mark.

READ MORE: 3 Alberta kids in isolation after potential measles exposure


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Mollina called back when her daughter was 10 months old and was told there were no appointments available at all.

“The delay in the scheduling really throws a curve ball in,” she said.

Eventually she was able to find a clinic, but her daughter was still immunized two months late, which she said is frustrating.

“If I had a newborn, and with the measles going around, if my babies were new I’d be scared to leave the house with them.”

AHS issued a warning Feb. 24 to Albertans after a person who was contagious with measles was in the Edmonton International Airport and visited several locations in and around Leduc.

READ MORE: AHS issues public alert after traveller with measles visits Leduc while contagious

AHS Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Jia Hu said the delay in immunization appointments could be avoided if parents were able to book well in advance.

“If you’re able to book before you leave your appointment then that can really streamline things,” Hu said.

“It’s not always two months. It varies a lot depending on when you’re trying to get in.”

He admitted that an upgrade to the IT system caused a few more issues with the system for parents trying to book appointments for their children.

READ MORE: ‘Measles is a highly contagious disease’: Health officials remind Canadians to get shot updated

“It’s caused a few delays but I think we will hammer out those kinks out in the near future. We’re always looking at ways to improve our ability to deliver service in a timely manner.”

Parents who may not be able to secure an appointment at one health centre can also call others in the city in order to receive immunizations in a timely manner.

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