15 Sep 2019

MMR vaccine supply problems continue to frustrate Auckland doctors

8:28 pm on 15 September 2019

Auckland doctors continue to be frustrated by problems with the supply of measles vaccines.

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Photo: 123rf

ProCare network clinical director Allan Moffitt said they had seen unprecedented demand from patients for the jab as the measles outbreak continues.

He said vaccine supplies had already been redistributed to clinics in high-risk areas that were running low or had run out, but much of that stock had now been used up.

Priority was being given to children who were due for their vaccinations or who had never been immunised, he said.

"We should still be able to vaccinate those people, we are trying to reserve enough vaccine for the next week to still maintain normal vaccine levels," Dr Moffitt said.

More than 54,000 doses of the MMR vaccine were distributed last week. And the Ministry of Health is expecting a shipment of 52,000 measles, mumps and rubella vaccines by the end of this weekend.

They will be distributed where needed this coming week.

Earlier this week, the ministry said it was asking GPs to target vaccinations to the most vulnerable.

That meant first priority would be on:

  • Ensuring all children across the country receive their vaccines on time at 15 months (or 12 months in Auckland) and four years.
  • Vaccinating groups most affected by the Auckland outbreak, including children under four, those aged 15 to 29, and Pacific people.
  • Proactively contacting children up to the age of 14 who have never been vaccinated at all.

There have been 1238 confirmed cases of measles in New Zealand this year, with 1028 of those in Auckland.

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