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B.C. measles ‘catch-up’ program delivers 106% jump in vaccinations in April

FILE - In this March 27, 2019, file photo, a woman receives a measles, mumps and rubella vaccine.
FILE - In this March 27, 2019, file photo, a woman receives a measles, mumps and rubella vaccine. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

One month after the British Columbia kicked off its measles immunization catch-up program, the province says it has administered more than 3,800 doses of the vaccine to students.

That figure represents a 106 per cent increase over April 2018.

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The immunization drive came in the wake of a measles outbreak in Vancouver and a string of individual cases on Vancouver Island and the 100 Mile House area, most of them contracted while travelling.

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The province says there have been 29 verified cases of measles in B.C. since the start of the year, 10 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, nine in the Fraser Health Region, eight in the Island Health region and two in the Interior Health Region.

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Under the catch-up program, the province says it has mailed out 551,000 letters to families with school-aged kids, and held 129 in-school clinics and 1,343 community clinics.

The province says the immunization drive will continue in May, with another 594 in-school clinics and 148 extra community clinics.

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U.S. Measles outbreak hits dangerous new levels

Health authorities are also focused on reviewing students’ immunization records, and will work with schools to let parents know about upcoming catch-up clinics.

Next fall parents will be required to report those records to their children’s schools. Details of that reporting process have yet to be announced.