Is your family immunised against measles?

Media release

06 July 2016

Don’t let measles ruin the school holidays. Make sure your family is fully immunised.

Since April 2016 there have been more than 85 cases of measles around New Zealand.

The majority of cases have been in children and teenagers aged 10 to 20 years in the Waikato and MidCentral regions.

The Ministry of Health’s Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr Andrew Simpson, says “Measles is highly infectious and can be life-threatening.

“People travelling during the holidays, and children attending events or school camps, run the risk of contracting measles and then bringing it home with them.

“Immunisation is the best protection for you and your family, and also helps protect the wider community.

“The measles vaccine is free for all New Zealanders who need it. You need two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine to be fully immunised.

“Anyone who is not vaccinated and gets exposed to a case of measles will need to stay home for at least 14 days to ensure the virus doesn't spread.”

Children are usually vaccinated at 15 months and 4 years of age.

Those unsure of their vaccination status can check Well Child Tamariki Ora or Plunket books, or contact their General Practice. If in doubt, just get vaccinated – it’s free, and getting an extra vaccination doesn’t do any harm.

Further information is available through 0800 IMMUNE (0800 466 863) or Healthline (0800 611 116), and the Ministry of Health website.

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