Thirty-year-old Jamie Cormier can’t leave his Victoria apartment and he can’t invite anyone in either. His doctors have told him to remain in quarantine for 21 days after Cormier was potentially exposed to measles while at work in downtown Victoria.

“It’s scary and very frustrating that I literally have no option to protect myself,” he said.

Cormier may have been exposed to the virus while working at London Drugs on Yates Street March 31. While that would be nerve-wracking for anyone, Jamie has a compromised immune system.

“I’m going to be living in a form of fear for a little while, and I know how over the top that may sound, but it’s true,” he said.

When Cormier was 10-months-old he received a liver transplant. It’s been working perfectly for nearly 30 years and while doctors don’t think he has the virus, Jamie is afraid of what contracting measles could mean for him.

“This virus will destroy what little immunity I have it will then go and attack my transplant and possibly kill it or put my transplant in such distress that it will reject my system and then I’ll need another one,” he said.

The other problem is that Cormier, and others like him, can’t get the measles vaccine.

“The measles vaccine, the MMR vaccine, is in a category called a live vaccine so that’s basically a weakened form of the virus,” said Island Health Medical Health Officer Dr. Dee Hoyano.

“Unfortunately for some people who have immuno-compromised conditions and women who are pregnant, they can’t receive that vaccine at that time,” she said.

So their health, and potentially even their lives, depend on everyone else getting the vaccine and reaching herd immunity, yet more and more people are choosing not to.

“We all deserve our own opinion and our own views and our own bodies are our own bodies, but at the same time I would trade anything to be able to have their opportunity to have this vaccine,” said Cormier.

 

April Lawrence