WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Health is making the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine readily available in Arizona to help contain a measles outbreak.
The company said more than 140 CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic locations in Maricopa and Pinal counties, the areas exposed to confirmed cases of the illness, have MMR vaccinations available to protect patients against measles.
Patients ages 9 and older can receive the MMR vaccine at CVS drug stores, and at MinuteClinic walk-in health clinics nurse practitioners can provide the recommended second vaccination to children ages 4 to 6. The first dose, usually given at 12 months, is not available at CVS Pharmacy or MinuteClinic.
“Immunizations are an important part of preventive care and a critical way to prevent the spread of serious diseases, like measles,” Andrew Sussman, executive vice president and associate chief medical officer of CVS Health and president of MinuteClinic, said in a statement. “Our CVS pharmacists and MinuteClinic nurse practitioners are ready to provide measles vaccinations to people living in Maricopa and Pinal Counties and can help ensure that patients stay up to date on vaccinations in the future.”
The MMR vaccine may be effective if given within the first 72 hours after exposure to measles, according to CVS. The company said that although measles was declared eliminated from the United States in 2000, each year the disease is brought into the country by unvaccinated travelers, including foreign visitors and Americans. People are considered immune to measles if they have received two MMR vaccines or were born before 1957 and have received one MMR vaccine.