18 Oct 2019

Free measles vaccination for babies over six months

1:43 pm on 18 October 2019

Babies in Auckland aged six months and over will be able to get a free vaccination against measles.

Measles, MMR (file photo)

Photo: 123RF

Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter said nationwide, all children under 15 who had not had a single dose of the MMR vaccine could now be vaccinated.

At the announcement today Ms Genter said 107,520 vaccines were being distributed throughout the country this week, and a further 155,000 doses would arrive by year-end.

Any babies aged six months or older who are travelling to Auckland will also be eligible for a free measles jab.

Ms Genter said: "As the mother of a young baby myself, I cannot urge parents strongly enough to get their babies vaccinated. It is the best thing you can do to protect them from getting measles."

Children and babies were the most vulnerable and most likely to end up in hospital, she said.

Baby and toddler pop-up clinics are to be held around Auckland to make it easier for parents to get their babies immunised.

Ms Genter urged parents and whānau of children under 15 who may not have been vaccinated against measles to contact their family doctor and book an appointment for a vaccination.

She said that with more than 107,000 extra vaccines now in the country, "we expect no child to be turned away from getting vaccinated".

Measles information:

  • If you are showing symptoms, call a doctor but stay at home - do not visit the GP as you could spread the disease at the waiting room.
  • Measles symptoms include a fever, runny nose, sore red eyes and cough, followed a few days later by a rash usually starting on the face before moving down the body.
  • You can have measles and spread it to other people before you start to show any symptoms or feel sick.
  • It can take about two weeks to be fully immune after being vaccinated.
  • Healthline offers free advice and has a translator service 0800 611 116.
  • Measles has a 90 percent infection rate, meaning nine out of 10 non-immune people who come into contact with an infectious person contract the disease.
  • Measles is a serious disease, and can lead to complications including pneumonia and in rarer cases brain damage or even death.

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