Free measles vaccines offered in Westchester, Rockland County as outbreak spreads

White Plains — As the measles virus continues to spread throughout the tri-state, two counties offered free vaccines Friday.

Inside the Westchester health department clinic, Sara Caldwell was among the approximately 35 patients getting a free Measles, Mumps, Rubella or MMR vaccine. Caldwell was not sure she had ever been properly vaccinated.

“I just had some concern about the daily routine of my work, so I thought it would be best to just come and get a vaccine just in case,” she said.

Westchester has seen eight cases of the measles — six occurring in one family.

However, the problem is much bigger in New York City where there has been nearly 300 cases in Brooklyn and Queens, mainly in Orthodox Jewish communities where there is some religious objection to the vaccine.

Rockland County has also seen about 180 cases centered in the predominately Jewish community of Monsey.

There was also a free vaccination clinic in Monsey on Friday.

Lori Smittle is the clinic supervisor in Westchester. She said educating people is a key part of what’s happening at these vaccination events.

“The Health Department is a big proponent of vaccinations because that is the one sure way to make sure not just an individual is safe, but their closest contacts don’t become sick as well,” Smittle said.

Among the other measures some communities are taking, Teaneck, New Jersey may soon require proof of a measles vaccination to participate in recreation programs and activities.

Westchester County vaccination events will occur Saturday morning at 134 Court St. in White Plains, and all day Tuesday at 25 Moore Ave. in Mount Kisco.

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