The Quincy Health Department is offering free Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccines for adults throughout the week after a child was diagnosed with measles in the Greater Boston area on May 24.
John Ahern came to the Health Department to receive a free vaccination days after he learned his 7-month-old grandson may have been exposed to the disease.
"I thought this was all gone," he said. "They had to bring him to Boston Children's Hospital, and he was immunized."
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Many visiting the Health Department on Monday said they wanted to take every precaution.
MaryAnn Russo decided to get vaccinated after she received a call on Saturday that she and her daughter may have been exposed to the disease last week.
"I just wanted to be on the safe side," Russo said. "I work in a school and I wanted to make sure I was protected."
According to Commissioner Ruth Jones, the free vaccines are available to adults at the Health Department from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. through this week.
"We want to hopefully reach as many people as we can," Jones said.
The move to offer the vaccines came after officials announced that an 11-month-old was diagnosed with measles on Friday.
Exposures to this individual may have occurred at the following locations and times: Weymouth Club in Weymouth on May 18 from 11 a.m.- 3 p.m.; Jack 'n' Jill Childcare at Marina Bay in North Quincy on May 21 from 8:15-10:40 a.m. and 5:15-7:30 p.m.; Star Market in Quincy on May 22 from 4-7 p.m.; Quincy YMCA on May 22 from 2-7 p.m.; Jack 'n' Jill Childcare at Marina Bay in North Quincy on May 23 from 8:15-10:40 a.m. and 5:15-7:30 p.m.; and Crown Colony Medical Center in Quincy on May 24 from 9:10 a.m.-1:40 p.m.
Anyone who visited these locations on the day and times should contact their health care provider to confirm their immunization status, officials said.
This is the second measles case in the Commonwealth in the past year. The first case was also in the Greater Boston area at the beginning of April.
Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD, MPH says the incident comes in the context of a large national and international outbreak.
"Lack of vaccination, combined with domestic and international travel, has resulted in the spread of measles nationally and internationally. Getting vaccinated is the best way for people to protect themselves from this disease," Bharel said.
Early symptoms of measles occur 10 days to two weeks after exposure and may resume a cold. A rash occurs on the skin two to four days after the initial symptoms develop. Health officials say it starts on the head and spreads downward, lasting a few days then disappearing in the same order.
Those who were exposed and begin to develop the symptoms should call their healthcare provider before visiting an office, clinic or emergency department, officials said.
People with measles may be contagious up to four days before and after the rash appears.
Anyone who has had measles in the past or has received two doses of the vaccine is unlikely to develop measles even if exposed.
Officials urge anyone who does not know their measles immunization status get vaccinated with at least one dose of the MMR vaccine. The vaccine can prevent the disease for up to 72 hours after exposure, and vaccination beyond this window will provide protection from subsequent exposures.
For additional information, contact your local health department or DPH at 617-983-6800. To learn more about measles, visit https://www.mass.gov/service-details/measles.