Thousands of adults will be offered a free measles vaccine after a dangerous surge in measles over the past year.
In a rare step targeting vaccination at adults rather than children, the WA State Government will fund indefinitely an adult measles vaccination program at a cost of almost $100,000 a year.
It will be offered to people aged between 20 and their early 50s — or those born after 1965 — who may have lost their immunity, reports Perth Now.
Older people are usually immune because they had measles as a child, while people aged under 20 already have access to free childhood vaccines.
Sixteen cases of measles have been reported this year, compared with two cases at the same time last year.
Health Minister Roger Cook said the increasing number of measles cases was linked to international travel.
Today’s announcement comes ahead of the Easter break and school holidays when many families plan to travel overseas.
“Prevention of measles is simple, so I urge anyone who is not fully immunised against measles to take advantage of this free vaccination program, especially if you are planning a trip overseas. We want to stamp out measles and prevent future outbreaks in WA.”
Let’s hope other states soon follow their lead.
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