Quebec begins measles vaccination campaign

Quebec recently began a major campaign to vaccinate, or revaccinate, all of its student age population against measles.

The objective of the massive project, announced by public health officials at the end of October, is to vaccinate all of the students and school staff members who have not been previously given the proper doses of the vaccine or who cannot provide proof of vaccination, according to

Quebec public health officials announced the kickoff of the campaign with a brochure that reads, “Let’s stop the transmission…action is required!”

Students, staff and other employees in elementary and secondary schools located in the southern part of the Canadian province are already being offered the vaccine. Those born before 1970 are considered sufficiently protected.

An adapted version of the campaign will be implemented in Nunavik, the northern third of the province, because a larger portion of the population has already been administered the vaccine and the current measles outbreak has not spread to the region, reports.

On average, Quebec sees one or two cases of the measles every year. So far in 2011, there have been 760 reported cases, most of them located in the area between Quebec City and Montreal. Experts say that the outbreak is a result of low vaccination rates. The affected have mainly been between the ages of five and 19.