Measles is on the rise across the country. Although there is no outbreak in Denver, we are vulnerable. Researchers from Johns Hopkins University and the University of Texas at Austin recently identified Denver County as one of the top 25 counties most at risk to experience a measles outbreak.
The Public Health Institute at Denver Health and Denver Public Schools want to keep your child safe, healthy and in school. The measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine is the best way to protect your child against measles. Make sure your child is fully immunized against this extremely contagious disease.
What does measles look like?
At first, measles looks like a cough or cold, along with a high fever, sneezing and coughing. Then comes a rash all over your child’s body. About one in four people who get measles will be hospitalized.
Measles is very contagious. If a child with measles in your child’s classroom coughs or sneezes, the virus remains in the air for up to two hours and can infect your child during that time. The virus also stays alive on surfaces – like desks and counters.
When should my child get vaccinated?
The MMR vaccine is administered in two doses. The first dose is given when your child is between 12 and 15 months old. The second dose is given when your child is between four and six years old.
Missed a shot? See your doctor or nurse about how to catch up.
Children between ages 4 and 6 are required to have their final MMR vaccination, or a valid exemption, before entering kindergarten.
Do I need insurance?
The MMR vaccine is covered by insurance. The Denver Public Health immunization clinic, Denver Health and community partners listed below, accept most forms of insurance, including Medicaid, and also has no- and low-cost options. No child is ever turned away for inability to pay.
What if a measles case occurs in my child’s school?
If your child gets measles, your child must stay home for four days after he or she gets the rash.
If you cannot prove your child has been vaccinated or has had measles before, and they spend time with a child who has measles, your child is at risk. Your child must stay home and away from school until the outbreak is over. The outbreak ends 21 days after a rash appears on the last person sick at your school.
MMR Vaccination Locations
In our community, there are many low-cost, convenient locations where children can get their MMR vaccine. Some clinics require an appointment, others don’t.