Joint Statement: Immunization as Best Practice

Refuah Health Center and the Rockland County Department of Health fully support timely and complete immunization of all infants, children, adolescents and adults to bolster the health and well-being of all people. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that vaccinations have prevented more than 21 million hospitalizations and 732,000 deaths among children born in the last 20 years. In line with CDC recommendations and those of the New York State Department of Health, we strongly encourage adherence to recommended immunization schedules for all children, adolescents and adults to best protect individuals who are most vulnerable to serious illness and death. By following recommended schedules, we can maintain the highest immunization rates possible and effectively prevent outbreaks of vaccine preventable disease within our communities and across the country.

For children and individuals who are not immunized or for those who are unsure of their vaccination history, we encourage you to contact your primary care provider. An MMR vaccine provides the most effective protection against the measles and could provide protection against this exposure or future exposures. With 2 doses, the MMR vaccine can be 97% effective in providing immunity. Refuah is offering vaccinations at all Rockland County locations. For more information, please call 1.845.354.9300.

The Rockland County Department of Health continues to encourage everyone to be up-to-date with the MMR vaccine to help protect them in case of any future exposure to measles in Rockland. In addition to recommending adherence to immunization schedules, because there is a measles outbreak in Rockland County, the Rockland County Department of Health is currently recommending that children 6 months through 11 months of age get an MMR vaccine now. They will still have to get a vaccine at 12-15 months of age and again at 4-6 years of age, however getting an MMR vaccine now will help give them some protection against measles. Therefore, any child 6 months or older or any adult who has not received their first MMR vaccine yet should get their first MMR vaccine now.

To prevent the spread of illness, we are advising individuals who may have been exposed, and who have symptoms consistent with measles to contact their health care provider, a local clinic, or a local emergency department before going for care. This will help to prevent others at these facilities from being exposed to the illness.

Residents can get more information about measles by calling the New York State Department of Health toll free Measles Information Line at (888) 364-4837.