Ohioans advised to call ahead on measles vaccine

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — State officials say Ohioans should call first before heading to pharmacies to get vaccinated amid ongoing outbreaks of measles and mumps.

Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sik) issued an executive order allowing pharmacists to administer the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine in an effort to increase access to it.

The head of Ohio's pharmacy board told reporters Tuesday that it is up to individual pharmacies to decide whether to carry the vaccine. Board president Kevin Mitchell also says the immunization doesn't differ greatly from others pharmacists are trained to give.

The state epidemiologist, Mary DiOrio, says Ohio has the nation's largest outbreak of measles cases since 1994. There are at least 287 confirmed cases, up from about 160 cases two weeks ago.

Ohio also has 418 probable and confirmed mumps cases reported.

©2016 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.