Protect tamariki against measles

Your tamariki needs two doses of the MMR vaccine to be fully protected. Their first dose is usually given at 12 months and the second dose at 15 months of age. These vaccinations are free.

Last updated: 5 July 2022

Measles can be very dangerous

Measles, mumps and rubella can all be very serious illnesses, but measles is particularly dangerous. It can lead to pneumonia, brain infection and sometimes death, and it spreads very quickly.  

About measles 

First dose at 12 months and second dose at 15 months 

Your tamariki needs two doses of the MMR vaccine to be fully protected. The first dose is usually given at 12 months and the second dose at 15 months of age. These vaccinations are free.

If your child is 12 months old, they need their first dose of the MMR vaccine now. 

Over the past couple of years during the COVID-19 pandemic, we know some tamariki missed having their second dose. Now is the time for tamariki to get that second dose to keep them safe. 

If your child is more than 15 months old and hasn’t had both doses of the MMR vaccine, talk to your doctor, nurse practitioner or local health clinic. These vaccinations are free.

It is important that parents are fully vaccinated against measles as well as their tamariki. If you’re not sure whether you had both doses as a child, talk to your doctor, nurse practitioner or local health clinic. 

Checking if a child has been immunised  

If you’re not sure whether your tamariki are up-to-date with their immunisations, it may be recorded in their Well Child Tamariki Ora (Plunket) book.

Older books might refer to an immunisation schedule that’s now out-of-date. If you’re unsure whether your child is up-to-date with their immunisations, check with your doctor or local health clinic.

If you have any questions about vaccination, talk to your doctor, nurse practitioner or local health clinic. You can also call Healthline on 0800 611 116.

As well as their MMR vaccination, your child should be immunised against a range of other viruses at various points throughout their childhood and adolescence. These immunisations are free.

To find out more about what immunisations they need, speak to your GP, nurse practitioner or local vaccinator, or visit New Zealand Immunisation Schedule.

What to expect when tamariki have their vaccinations 

Tamariki will either have their MMR vaccine in their thigh or arm – it depends how many vaccinations they are getting that day, and their age. 

You will need to wait 20 minutes after their vaccination so that treatment can be given quickly if a very rare, severe allergic reaction occurs. 

Most commonly children have no side effects apart from a little bit of pain at the injection site or mild measles symptoms. Some children might develop a measles rash, but this is rare. 

If you have any other questions or concerns the vaccinator will be able to talk these through during your appointment. 

Side effects of the measles (MMR) vaccine and how it works

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