News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Immunisation Week prompts timely measles reminder

Immunisation Week prompts timely measles reminder

With measles continuing to spread through Auckland, Immunisation Week is a timely reminder to parents to check their children’s immunisation status.

The best protection from measles is receiving two doses of the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine. While one of this week’s themes is ensuring children get immunised ‘on time, every time,’ Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) says it is never too late to catch up on any immunisations that may have been missed.

105 people in Auckland have caught measles so far this year, with 21 requiring hospital treatment. Most cases have been in the 10-19 age group – an age group where people are less likely to be fully immunised (or immune from having had measles before widespread immunisation).

Medical Officer of Health Dr Richard Hoskins says the most frustrating aspect of this outbreak was that it could have been prevented if more people were immunised.

“Measles is highly infectious. When it finds its way into areas with low immunisation rates, it spreads rapidly – as seen on the North Shore, where 52 cases are linked to Westlake Boys High School.

“While the Westlake outbreak is now over, we are still seeing 1-2 ‘sporadic’ cases (cases with no known link to other cases) a week. Several of these people have gone on to infect others, particularly household members and waiting room contacts.”

Measles can be a very serious illness, says Dr Hoskins, with one in three experiencing complications such as ear infections, pneumonia, bronchitis or diarrhoea. While one in 10, on average, requires hospitalisation, admission rates in this outbreak have been higher.
Current MMR recommendations are:

· All children from age 15 months who have not had one dose of MMR should receive this as soon as possible.

· All children should receive their second dose at four years of age, or at least 28 days after the first dose.

· All adults born after January 1969 who are not recorded as immunised, or who have only had one measles vaccination, should receive one dose of MMR as soon as possible, with a second dose at least 28 days later for those who had no previous MMR.

· If in doubt, vaccinate. If medical records cannot be located, and there is any uncertainty as to whether someone has received two doses, an MMR can be given with no added risk.

· Immunisation is free.

Dr Hoskins urges parents to check with their GP that they, and their children, are fully up to date with their vaccinations. “It is never too late to catch up – and there is no better time than right now.”

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Scoop Review Of Books: Worldly And Unworldly

"Being Magdalene" by Fleur Beale The situations shown in this youth novel are shocking, scary, and very moving as we experience Magdalene’s struggle to be a perfect girl as defined by the cruel and unreasonable leader of “The Children of the Faith”, as she moves reluctantly into young womanhood. More>>

Whistle Stop: Netball NZ To Implement New INF Rules

Netball New Zealand (NNZ) will implement the new Official Rules of Netball, as set down by the International Netball Federation (INF), from January 1, 2016. Key changes include the elimination of whistle following a goal, amendments to injury time and changes to setting a penalty. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Waiata Aroha

Vaughan Rapatahana on Chappy by Patricia Grace: With this eminently readable novel Patricia Grace returns to the full-length fiction stage after a hiatus of ten years. More>>

'Ithaca' At Q Theatre: Introducing NZ's World Class Cirque Troupe

NZ’s very own cirque troupe is set to become a household name with the premier of its adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey having secured a key season in Auckland. More>>

Music Awards: The Tuis Are Broody This Year

Topping off a sensationally eventful year both at home and internationally, Nelson born brother-sister duo Broods has taken home four Tuis from this year’s 50th annual Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards. More>>


Sport: Richie McCaw Retires From Rugby

Richie McCaw has today confirmed he is hanging up his boots and retiring from professional rugby. The 34-year-old All Blacks captain and most capped All Black of all time has drawn the curtain on his stunning international career which started in Dublin 14 years ago, almost to the day, and ended in London last month when he hoisted the Webb Ellis Cup aloft for the second time. More>>


John McBeth: On Jonah Lomu

For many New Zealanders, the enormity of Jonah Lomu's reputation will have come as a surprise... His deeds were watched and enthused over by movie stars and musicians, politicians and superstars from other codes. He reached into the lives and homes of millions and mixed with famous people most New Zealanders would only have read about. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news