BILLINGS- A measles outbreak in the state of Washington and mumps in Bozeman led to Riverstone Health holding a special immunization clinic on Saturday.
The Unified Health Command, made up of Billings Clinic, St. Vincent Health Care and Riverstone Health encouraged parents to bring children in for vaccinations.
Riverstone offered a vaccine for Measles Mumps and Rubella (MMR).
A second vaccine, MMRV, takes care of those, along with Varicella for chicken pox.
The vaccines have decreased Measles cases, which were much more prevalent in the early 1900s, according to Riverstone’s written records.
According to Riverstone Health, the immunizations protect children who are not immunized and adults who cannot take the vaccination.
“That provides, we call it herd immunity so that if the majority of people in a population are immune to it, then it’s harder for the disease to get in that population of people,” said Kim Bailey, a registered nurse and communicable disease coordinator at Riverstone.
School District Two requires the vaccines and gives exemptions for some children.
Bailey estimates that about 500 have not been vaccinated in the Billings Public Schools.