The lineup for a measles vaccination clinic at the South Calgary Health Centre is stretching outside the doors and around the building.

Drop-in vaccination clinics are being offered in Calgary after Alberta Health Services (AHS) declared a measles outbreak in Calgary, Edmonton and central Alberta on Tuesday.

There have been nine confirmed cases so far in Calgary, six in Edmonton and seven in the Central Alberta Zone.

Infants aged six months to less than 12 months living in or travelling to the outbreak zones are now eligible for an early additional dose of measles vaccine for short-term added protection against the disease.

But Dr. Judy MacDonald, medical officer of health, said the intention is to do the special immunizations for babies next week.

The clinics are being offered at the following places and times:

Northgate Measles Immunization Clinic – A#154, 495 36th Street N.E.

  • April 30 – 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. 
  • May 7 – 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.

South Calgary Health Centre Measles Immunization Clinic – 3rd floor, 31 Sunpark Plaza S.E. (Note: this is not the South Health Campus).

  • April 30 – 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • May 3 – 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
  • May 6 – 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • May 10 – 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Brentwood Village Mall Measles Immunization Clinic – Unit 302, 3630 Brentwood Rd. N.W.  

  • May 3 – 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • May 8 – 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • May 10 – 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.​

Dr. Glen Armstrong, an infectious disease specialist, says measles can be very serious for some people.

“Complications include pneumonia in a large number of cases, encephalitis, which is infection and swelling in the brain, which is very dangerous, and there is a mortality rate associated with measles as well,” he said.

Armstrong said between 100,000 and 150,000 Albertans are not immunized.

“I think it is a wake-up call,” he said. 

"Our vaccine rates have now dropped below 90 per cent. That means there is a significant number of individuals in our herd that are susceptible to measles." 

Dr. Michael Gardam, an infectious disease specialist, says people have become less vigilant about vaccinations.

"Because we don't see measles any more, people start to get laissez-faire about it. They don't get vaccinated and then, what I'm hoping we'll see happen is people will realize how serious this is and they'll start to vaccinate again."