University of Pittsburgh
April 22, 2001

GREATER PITTSBURGH MEASLES IMMUNIZATION TASK FORCE EFFORTS BENEFIT THOUSANDS OF PITTSBURGH STUDENTS

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH, Apr. 20 -- Efforts by a consortium of community groups to make sure that Pittsburgh Public School students have received or documented their measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) booster vaccinations by April 30 are proving successful. Activities conducted under the auspices of the Greater Pittsburgh Measles Immunization Task Force's Booster Booster campaign have reduced the number of students not in compliance with the state regulation by more than 4,000, from 11,287 to 7,045.

The task force, which includes university and community leaders, was convened by University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg and Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent John Thompson. Activities sponsored by the group have included telephone campaigns, outreach through area churches and community organizations, a public awareness campaign through the media, and dispensing free measles booster shots at locations throughout the community. Free measles booster shots will be available again on Saturday, April 21, at the YMCA Allegheny Branch,

600 W. North Avenue, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; at the Bidwell Presbyterian Church, 1025 Liverpool Street, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and at the Edmond Center, 101 Hazlett Street, from 9 a.m. to noon.

Stephen Thomas, chair of the task force's executive committee and director of the Center for Minority Health at the University of Pittsburgh, credited the cooperation of all those involved for the success achieved so far. "This has been a true community-wide effort to assist the Allegheny County Department of Health and the Pittsburgh Public Schools in ensuring the health of all children in school while also ensuring that their education is not interrupted by a failure to comply with state health regulations," Thomas said.

The task force will continue its campaign to inform the community of the need to update the students' immunization records, along with providing opportunities to receive booster shots in the schools and community clinics, through the end of the month.

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