NORTHERN VANCOUVER ISLAND, B.C. – Island Health is seeing an increase in demand for measles vaccination.

This is according to Dr. Paul Hasselback, a medical health officer with Island Health.

“Certainly, what we’ve got is nine cases of measles that are occurring in children in Vancouver, and a great deal of public interest and attention surrounding that. Many parents have taken the opportunity to recognize that their children are perhaps not fully up to date with their immunizations,” Hasselback said.

He added that the demand has been increasing throughout the island, which was unanticipated.

“So the processes currently in place, we have a set of appointments in. As we’re trying to book in those appointments, they’re getting farther and farther out. So the offices are now beginning to look at what else can be done to help accommodate the demand that is occurring for the measles vaccine?”

But despite this, Hasselback said that now is as good a time as any to get the vaccination.

“Measles is a concern all the time, all year. And so it’s a good opportunity for everyone to remember: be sure that your vaccines are up to date.”

Hasselback said parents should focus on getting children vaccinated, especially younger children who have not been immunized or may not have gotten their second dose yet.

The vaccine is available through Island Health’s Health Units, and Hasselback recommends calling them first to see if a Health Unit has the vaccine. Select pharmacies and physicians also carry the vaccine and are able to administer them to patients.