Shots top 15,000 in measles onslaught

The first measles case at UBC was reported late last week, even as Vancouver Health Board staff sought to control the spread of the disease through a massive UBC vaccination campaign Feb. 11-18.

More than 15,000 UBC students, faculty and staff were vaccinated as campus departments pooled their efforts with Vancouver Health Board staff to organize the vaccination blitz.

"The campus really pulled together in a very short time for what was a huge undertaking," said Byron Hender, executive co-ordinator in the Office of the Vice-President, Student and Academic Services. "Individuals from a range of departments across campus worked hard and fast. It was a real team effort."

Students and faculty volunteers in UBC's School of Nursing were welcomed by public health nurses as they turned the measles vaccination campaign into an opportunity to gain practical experience in a unique situation.

Assoc. Prof. Elaine Carty said more than 30 students and faculty volunteered their services to help the public health nurses and the Vancouver Health Board deliver measles vaccine.

"The health board and the public health nurses got in touch with us as soon as they heard we were willing to help. They've been great about including people from the school in the campaign," Carty said. "We just shifted some of the clinical experiences students would be having this week to assisting with vaccinations."