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Are your Measles Vaccines up-to-date?

11 March 2019

Public Service Announcement

Are your Measles Vaccines up-to-date?

The Government of Nunavut Department of Health advises Nunavummiut to ensure their measles vaccines are up to date, due to recent measles cases in the country. In Canada, measles cases are rare because most people are vaccinated for it in childhood, receiving a vaccine at 12 months old and another at 18 months old.

Measles is a serious disease caused by a very contagious virus. Symptoms of measles are fever, runny nose, cough and puffy eyes that are sensitive to light. Small spots may be seen on the mouth. A rash that usually lasts about four days starts on the head and face then spreads to the rest of the body.

Measles spreads quickly from person to person after a sick person coughs or sneezes. People with measles are contagious four days before the rash appears and up to four days after the rash disappears. People who were never vaccinated or did not get their second vaccination are most likely to get the disease after being in contact with a sick person.

People who can get very sick from measles are:

  • unvaccinated pregnant women;
  • infants under 12 months of age; and
  • people with weakened immune symptoms.

There is no treatment for measles. Your body eventually kills the virus. While you are sick, you must stay home. The best prevention for measles is vaccination. Visit your local health centre to find out more or get vaccinated.

For more information, please visit:

For the Nunavut Recommended Childhood Immunization Schedule, please visit:


Media Contact:

Sara Arsenault
Communications Specialist
Department of Health