Barbadians have been assured that the United States cruise liner, which has been quarantined in St. Lucia after a case of measles was identified on board, is not scheduled to dock in Barbados.
However, the Ministry of Health and Wellness continues to recommend to persons not immunized against the disease to visit the polyclinic in their catchment area or their private doctor, to receive the measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccine.
While there is no measles outbreak in Barbados, with the last documented case recorded in 1990, there have been reports of outbreaks in North America, the United Kingdom, Europe and the Americas.
The MMR vaccine is generally given from 12 months of age in Barbados. However, Senior Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Karen Broome, has cautioned that if persons are planning to travel to an area where there is an outbreak, then children six to 11 months should receive one dose of the vaccine. Additionally, adolescents and adults must ensure that they have had their MMR vaccine.
Once a person has received two doses of the vaccine, they are fully immunized against measles. Persons who have already been infected with measles have life-long immunity.