Health Guide

Measles Q&A

I know, right? Thanks to vaccination efforts in the past, we had eradicated measles by 1998, but unfortunately, measles is back….In fact, there has been a rise in measles infections around the world, and there are confirmed cases in Ontario.

Because we worry about any virus or illness that may affect you and our communities

Measles is one of the most contagious viruses in the world, spreading by droplets from the nose, mouth, or throat or by touching contaminated surfaces.

The measles virus can linger in the area for as long as 2 hours after the infected person has left the area.

Symptoms of measles usually begin with a high fever, red and watery eyes, and a rash that usually starts with spots in the mouth and face and spreads to the rest of the body.

People who are exposed to measles can spread the virus 4 days before the rash starts.

Measles can cause ear infections, pneumonia, brain swelling, seizures, deafness, blindness, and even death. Vaccination is the only way to protect us.

Yes, it is very safe!

The measles vaccine is called MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine.

It is over 95% effective in preventing measles!

When you receive the MMR vaccine, you may have some redness and pain to the area where the vaccine was given, mild fever, mild rash, or joint pains.

Although these side effects can happen with the MMR vaccine, the benefit of the vaccine totally outweighs the risks!

Babies and children should be vaccinated with 2 doses of the vaccine (first dose after 12 months of age). Children must have the MMR vaccine or a valid exemption to attend school off-reserve.

If you were born BEFORE 1970 you likely had the measles virus. If you don’t remember having measles or don’t have documentation of receiving the vaccine, you should get the MMR vaccine now!

If you were born in 1970 or later, you should have received 1-2 doses of the MMR vaccine. If you only received 1 dose, or if you don’t know and can’t find out, it is important to receive the vaccine now.

The MMR vaccine is a weakened live vaccine, so some people who are severely immunocompromised, such as those with cancer, on chemotherapy, or with active tuberculosis, and pregnant people should not get the vaccine. If you’re unsure, speak to someone in your healthcare community that you trust.

If you have been exposed to measles or think you have symptoms of measles, please contact your healthcare team or public health and stay home!

And as always, we are here for the community. To talk with us or book a vaccine, please call us at 416-654-4184 or email auduzhe@nameres.org

COVID Vaccines

Individuals who are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 may receive an additional dose of an XBB COVID-19 vaccine in the Spring/Summer of 2024.

It is recommended the following individuals receive an additional dose:

  • Adults 65 years of age and older

  • Individuals 6 months of age and older who are moderately to severely immunocompromised

It is especially important for those who are at risk of severe illness from COVID-19, who did not receive a dose during the Fall of 2023 Individuals may receive an XBB COVID-19 vaccine if it has been a minimum of 3 months from the previous COVID-19 vaccine dose or known COVID-19 infection.

This is available for all adults who identify as First Nations, Inuit, or Metis and their non-Indigenous household members.

If you have any questions, need to receive the vaccine, or want to verify your vaccine status,
please call us at 416-654-4184!