Measles outbreak provokes huge demand for vaccine in B.C.

A measles outbreak in Disneyland has prompted a huge run on the vaccine in B.C.'s Lower Mainland.

Disneyland outbreak prompts concern in run up to Spring Break

Clinics in the Lower Mainland are experiencing huge demand for measles vaccinations in the run up to Spring Break. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-The Fort Collins Coloradoan, Dawn Madura (Associated Press)

A measles outbreak in Disneyland has prompted a huge run on the vaccine in the Lower Mainland as families prepare for Spring Break vacations.

More than 70 people across the U.S. (including six Disneyland employees), Mexico and Canada have been affected by the outbreak.

Vancouver Coastal Health says calls inquiring about the vaccine are up as much as 400 per cent at some clinics.

VCH medical officer, Meena Dawar, told CBC News that the approaching Spring Break holiday was focusing peoples' minds. 

"Obviously, we would prefer if people were immunized with all appropriate vaccines at the recommended time," she said. "But we all get busy in our lives and forget that that's an important part of keeping healthy."

Any adult born before 1970 is thought to be immune because they either had it or were exposed to it when they were younger.

But anyone born after 1970 should have been vaccinated against measles — twice.

The news comes as a new poll shows the vast majority of Canadians believe vaccines are effective.

The online poll, conducted from Feb. 9 to 11, found broad support for vaccinations:

  • 88 per cent of respondents said vaccinations prevent diseases in individuals, while slightly less (86 per cent) said they were effective for the community as a whole.
  • 83 per cent said they would vaccinate their own children.
  • 74 per cent agreed people who oppose childhood vaccinations are "irresponsible."
  • Almost two thirds of respondents (63 per cent) said vaccinations should be mandatory.

The survey was self-commissioned by the Angus Reid Institute and involved 1,509 Canadian adults. 

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