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Measles Vaccine Available for People Under Thirty

Media Release

01 October, 2019

Measles Vaccine Available for People Under Thirty in Northland

There are now 64 confirmed cases of measles in Northland, with three other cases under investigation.

In order to ensure our community is protected from measles, General Practice and Northland DHB will continue to offer measles vaccination to the most vulnerable, i.e. people under thirty years of age.

“We currently have sufficient vaccine supply to maintain the current childhood immunisation schedule and meet current demand in Northland for people under 30 years of age,” notes Dr Catherine Jackson, Medical Officer of Health.

“From the beginning of school in term four, MMR vaccine will be offered to children who have not had an MMR along with the Year 7/8 HPV immunisation programme.”

Immunisation Priorities

Scheduled immunisations at 15 months and 4 years

One dose of MMR for those aged <30 years who have not had a previous dose

People aged 30-50 years based on clinical judgement e.g. they are immunocompromised, live with someone who is unable to be immunised, are frontline healthcare staff or a teacher at a primary or secondary school.

“We want to acknowledge all parents, General Practices, Public Health Nurses and community vaccinators for all their help during this difficult time,” Dr Jackson offered.

“The response has been fantastic and as usual, Northland parents and healthcare workers have responded admirably to the challenge.”

MMR vaccine stocks and use in Northland are being closely monitored and the DHB will advise if the current immunisation priorities change.

DHB Clinics for 15 months, 4 years and up to thirty year olds who have not had an MMR are held in:

• Whangarei - 22b Commerce Street – Tuesday and Thursdays – 8.30am until 4pm

• Kaitaia – Kaitaia Hospital Whare – Thursdays – 12.45pm until 4pm.

Measles at schools

Children who have not been immunised or who are immunocompromised should stay away from schools where measles cases have been reported. Northland DHB Public Health Nurses will advise if this is the case.

Advice for those over 50

Because measles used to be very common, people over the age of 50 are considered immune and don’t need an immunisation.

Measles and pregnancy

Pregnant women should not get immunised against measles. If you're pregnant and think you may have measles or have come in contact with someone with measles, you should call your general practice, lead maternity carer or Healthline on 0800 611 116 as soon as possible.

Advice for Infants

Infants under 12 months old are best protected if family members, whānau and carers have had their vaccinations.

Infants 12–15 months old who live in the Auckland region are eligible for the first dose of the free MMR vaccine immediately.

Infants aged 6–15 months who are travelling to areas where there are serious measles outbreaks are able to get the MMR vaccine before leaving. Talk with your doctor if you are planning travel to these areas and consider not going until the measles outbreak is over.

Infants who do not live in the Auckland region and do not plan to travel there should receive the first dose of MMR vaccine at 15 months old as usual.

Infants aged 6 to 15 months travelling overseas should receive an early dose of the MMR vaccine at least two weeks before travelling to a country with an active measles outbreak. This includes a number of countries and regions, including Hong Kong, the United States and Canada, as well as parts of Europe and Southeast Asia.


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