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Starship welcomes change in first MMR vaccination age

12 June 2019

Starship welcomes the Auckland Regional Public Health Service announcement that the first measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination has been brought forward to 12 months from 15 months in Auckland, as a response to the current measles outbreak.

Leilani Hipa, Starship Community Nurse says: “The team at Starship Hospital have seen some very unwell children coming with measles.

“It’s heart-breaking that kids are suffering like this from a preventable illness. Parents, it’s really important you get your children vaccinated so they can avoid catching this horrible virus. Your kids can have the vaccination free of charge at your GP.

“What I tell the families I work with is that vaccination is not just for them, it’s for those around them who are vulnerable and are not able to get the vaccination, such as young babies and people undergoing some cancer treatments. Do it for those who can’t.”

Measles is one of the most contagious viruses, and anyone who is not immune and who has been in the same space as someone with the illness is at risk of becoming unwell.

Leilani says the early symptoms of measles are a fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, then a rash.

If you think you or your child has measles – or you’ve been in contact with someone you believe has the disease – it’s important to call your doctor or healthcare centre before turning up so you can be isolated on arrival.

For more information and translated resources and fact sheets go to


For media enquiries please call Sarah McMahon, External Communications Manager, on 021 804 122

Notes for Editors

Starship Child Health

Starship Child Health is a dedicated paediatric healthcare service and major teaching centre, providing family centred care to children and young people throughout New Zealand and the South Pacific.

As part of Starship Child Health, Starship Children’s Hospital is New Zealand’s national children’s hospital.

Starship provides hospital and outpatient services to the local Auckland population and also provides complex, specialist care for children from across the whole of New Zealand, as well as some patients from the South Pacific.

There are nearly 130,000 patient visits to Starship Child Health each year including around 1,000 outreach clinics where Starship clinicians offer specialist consultation and support to their peers all around New Zealand.

Auckland District Health Board

Auckland District Health Board (DHB) provides and funds public health services to the nearly 515,000 people living in central Auckland, as well as regional services for Northland and Greater Auckland and specialist national services for the whole of New Zealand. We have more than one million patient contacts per year.

We operate Auckland City Hospital, Starship Children’s Hospital, Greenlane Clinical Centre and several community-based services and fund healthcare services delivered by GPs, midwives, dental care, pharmacies, aged care residential homes, screening programmes and other NGOs.

We are a major teaching institution, providing training for more than 1000 future doctors, nurses, midwifes and other health professionals every year.

We also have an active clinical research facility in partnership with the University of Auckland. We study important clinical problems, test innovative solutions and translate scientific research findings into clinical care – from bench to bedside.

Our primary role is to support our local population to achieve the outcomes they want for themselves, their whānau and their community, and to ensure they have access to high quality and safe healthcare.

Our approach is patient-centred healthcare, which means the needs of our patients are at the heart of everything we do. We want our community to live well, stay well and get well.


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