Harris County health officials stick it to measles with free vaccinations

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HOUSTON –  Harris County health officials were really sticking it to measles and other illnesses. The Harris Health System offered free school immunizations at the opening of its Sunset Heights clinic. Kids who qualified received the vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella, along with flu shots and other vaccinations.

Robert Henriksen brought in a relative who is a foreign student needing the vaccinations to get into school. “I had gone to Walgreen’s Friday evening, and the price tag for all the vaccinations he was going to need was going to be over $500.”

Illiana Gonzales knew about the measles outbreak spreading across the country, and figured this would be a good opportunity to finish her son’s vaccinations. “I actually saw it on the news the other day, which prompted me to come here, as well, to get him updated, because he was a month or two behind on his fourteen months.”

And even though people out west are concerned about unvaccinated kids in school, local health officials aren’t seeing a big push to get the shots for unvaccinated kids and adults.

“There hasn’t been an outpouring of, I guess angst of, for people asking for the measles vaccines, but we do provide those if patients do request those, “ said Jamie Mathis, administrative director at the new clinic.

Measles can hit anyone of any age who has not been vaccinated. The bug spreads through the air, and can hit hard big events like the Super Bowl. The latest outbreak started in Disneyland in December, and has now spread to 14 states with 102 people coming down with measles last month.

And there’s no way to know if you’re at risk until you start to itch.

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