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Toi Te Ora push for measles immunisations

Doctor Jim Miller says it’s important that parents ensure that their children receive their routine MMR immunisations on time at 15 months and four years of age.

Toi Te Ora Public Health say five cases of measles have been confirmed in the Bay of Plenty region in the past month.

Medical Officer of Health for Toi Te Ora Public Health Doctor Jim Miller says the most recent measles case does not appear to be linked to the group of cases related to the Mount Maunganui area.

“GPs and residents are now on the alert so we have also received four other reports of possible measles which we are currently investigating,” says Jim.  

Immunisation is the best protection from measles, the vaccine that protects against measles is the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine.

“It’s important that parents ensure that their children receive their free routine MMR immunisations on time at 15 months and 4 years of age,” says Jim.

It is advised if you have never had a dose of the MMR vaccine, now is the time to get one. After one dose of MMR vaccine about 95% of people are protected from measles, and 99% of people who have had both doses are protected from measles.

It is also advised to check your immunity if you are planning an overseas trip. The Ministry of Health recently highlighted that since 2012, all cases of measles in New Zealand came from travellers bringing the disease from overseas and that there are significant measles outbreaks in many countries.

People born before January 1, 1969 are likely to be immune as measles were rather common, therefore this older age group does not need measles immunisation.

“If you think you or someone in your family may have measles, stay at home and phone your doctor to alert them of your symptoms and allow them to make arrangements to assess you safely and without infecting other people, or call Healthline on 0800 611 116 for advice.”

For more information:

· Toi Te Ora Public Health website: www.toiteora.govt.nz/measles

· Immunisation Advisory Centre free phone: 0800 IMMUNE (0800 466 863)

· Immunisation Advisory Centre website: www.immune.org.nz

· Ministry of Health 2019 measles outbreak information: www.health.govt.nz/your-health/conditions-and-treatments/diseases-and-illnesses/measles/2019-measles-outbreak-information

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