APOPKA, Fla. — Apopka city leaders are rolling out an initiative Tuesday in an effort to stop the spread of the measles. This comes just weeks after several cases of the disease were reported in the state of Florida, and dozens of cases across 15 other states in the U.S.

What You Need To Know

  • In February, there were nearly a dozen measles cases reported in South Florida at an elementary school; now there are at least four cases confirmed in Central Florida as well

  • Apopka city officials are rolling out an initiative to get people vaccinated against the measles; there will be at least six vaccination events held over the next month

  • Health officials say people who are not vaccinated, people who have compromised immune systems and people who travel internationally where the measles are present are more at risk of catching the measles themselves

  • The events will be held from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. at specific locations and only on designated days

Apopka Mayor Bryan Nelson joined leaders from the fire department, the Florida Department of Health (DOH) and Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) to spread awareness about the measles and announce a wave of vaccination events over the next few weeks.

“We haven’t had any confirmed cases” said Nelson during a press conference Monday. “I just know that we’re right at 90% vaccinated and that’s where you start to run into where it can spread. We want to try to bump that up to somewhere north of 95%, so that we can eliminate the spread of the measles.”

Though no cases have been confirmed in Apopka, according to Nelson, at least four measles cases have been reported in Central Florida per DOH. Exact locations have not been disclosed. The cases were confirmed through Orlando Health officials who shared with our partners at The Orlando Sentinel that they saw an adult case of the measles and three children under the age of 2 in their Central Florida emergency departments.

DOH has come out to say that there is no community outbreak of measles in Orlando, but city leaders in Apopka say they are focused on getting ahead of potential cases anyway; especially following major impacts to learning from the pandemic.

“We are still recovering from the pandemic and the learning loss that took place and chronic absenteeism that is still an issue with our children because of that pandemic,” said Orange County Public schools board member Melissa Byrd. “So, we certainly don’t want to see anything else get in the way.”

The city will begin vaccination events Tuesday, March 5, starting at 2 p.m. Another event will be held March 8, March 11 and 12 and again on March 14 and 15. All of the events will be from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Health officials say people who are not vaccinated, people that have compromised immune systems and people who travel to international areas with measles outbreaks are more at risk of getting it. Washing your hands, covering your nose and mouth and getting vaccinated are some of the best ways to prevent catching the measles, according to health experts.

The list of vaccination dates and locations can be found by clicking here.