Marianas Variety

Last updateSat, 25 May 2019 12am







    Sunday, May 26, 2019-1:14:01P.M.






Font Size


Health official: No measles or mumps outbreak in NMI

THERE are no recorded cases of measles or mumps in the CNMI, but Immunization Program Manager Jeremy Sasamoto strongly advises the public to update their MMR or Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine because of an outbreak in the Philippines and the United States, particularly in Washington state, Oregon and California.

The Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. has issued an advisory, informing the public of the availability of the MMR vaccine.

Sasamoto encouraged the people to get the MMR vaccine and have their children up to date with their immunizations.

“For those traveling to a measles-infected area, we encourage getting the MMR vaccine 28 days prior to departure, with a minimum of 14 days prior to departure, to give the vaccine time to take effect,” the CHCC public advisory stated.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends two doses of the MMR vaccine given 28 days apart, with the second dose given at least 28 days before travel. Air travel additionally makes it easier for diseases to spread, especially airborne and highly contagious diseases like measles.

Adults with chronic conditions, such as diabetes, and children under 12 months and people who have compromised immune systems are vulnerable to diseases.

But CHCC said the MMR vaccine cannot be given to children under 12 months, people with compromised immune systems, including the elderly or people undergoing chemotherapy.

“These vulnerable sectors of the population rely on ‘herd immunity,’ where the rest of the community protects them from disease by being vaccinated and healthy. The more people in our community who are vaccinated, the greater the net of protection around everyone. Getting ourselves and our children vaccinated not only protects our family, it also protects those around us at school, work, church, and everywhere we go in our community,” CHCC added.

Sasamoto said the MMR vaccine is free at the CHCC Immunization Clinic and at the Tinian and Rota health centers.

For more information, contact CHCC’s Public Health Immunization Program on Saipan at 236-8745/8708/8781, on Rota at 532-9451, or on Tinian at 433-9233.