If you think you have measles or in contact with measles, please call us to discuss what to do. When you arrive, please stay in your car and call reception to let us know you arrived.
There is officially an outbreak of Measles in Auckland, and as of 13th September 2019 there are over 1000 confirmed cases this year. Measles are mainly spreading amongst people that are not vaccinated.
Children aged 6 months to 1 year living in Auckland should get an early extra MMR vaccine, especially if they are also planning to travel overseas to known measles outbreak areas. Early vaccination before the age of 1 will not count towards the usual childhood immunisation programme, i.e. they still need their 15 months and 4 years MMR vaccine.
Children aged 12 months to 15 months who are in Auckland or travelling to Auckland, can have their MMR vaccine early, and will count towards the childhood immunisation programme, i.e. their next MMR is at 4 years old.
Children aged 15 months to 4 years, should already have had 1 dose of MMR vaccine and are protected against measles, they can have their second dose at age 4 years.
People aged 5 years to 26 years should have had 2 doses of MMR vaccine.
People aged 27 to 50 years are likely to only have 1 dose of MMR vaccine. They should get their second dose of MMR vaccine to ensure adequate protection.
People aged over 50 years are assumed to have natural immunity to measles, due to high levels of circulating measles in the past.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is measles and why is there an outbreak?
Measles is a highly contagious disease, which causes fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes as well as a florid rash. Complications include pneumonia (lung infection), meningitis and encephalitis (brain infection). People become unwell 10 to 14 days after exposure, and becomes contagious even 5 days before being unwell, making it very easy to spread. Vaccination can prevent people catching measles, but for those who cannot be vaccinated (infants, people who are immunocompromised) they have to rely on others being vaccinated to stop measles from spreading. Due to the highly contagious nature of measles, it is estimated that we need 95% of people vaccinated to stop measles from spreading. Unfortunately, dropping rates of vaccination in New Zealand is what contributed to the current outbreak, stuff has a good article about this.
Can my infant have the 15 month MMR vaccine earlier?
Current advice from Public Health is to vaccine infants at 12 months old instead of 15 months old. Infants between 6 to 12 months old could potentially be vaccinated earlier, if they are travelling overseas to measles outbreak areas or have high potential exposure to measles, but will require a review with the doctor first. Otherwise to reduce risk, keep infants away from un-vaccinated people, people with runny nose or cough, and daycare if possible.
Can my child have the 4 year MMR vaccine earlier?
No. Children near that age should already have had one dose of MMR vaccine around the age of 15 months, and are already protected against measles. The purpose of the second MMR at age 4 is to boost the immunity and to prolong the duration of protection to theoretically lifelong. There is no benefit to have the second MMR earlier.
Can I have a blood test to check if I am immune to measles?
Yes, but it is not funded. It cost about $55, and you can just go to Labtests, request and pay for it yourself. Funded blood test is generally on advice from Public Health, such as if you are exposed to a confirmed measles case.
Does the MMR vaccine contains harmful substances and causes autism?
The initial concern was from a paper claiming MMR vaccine causes autism, but was found to be untrue, with the author later found guilty of misconduct and his medical licence revoked. Others think an anti-bacterial ingredient thimerosal could do the same, but was also found to be untrue. Further studies have not shown any link, but unfortunately public perception has already been damaged. See CDC for further information about this. The MMR vaccine does not contain thimerosal.
Booking your MMR vaccine | MMR stock update
18/10/19: extra vaccines have arrived in Auckland, and the Ministry of Health has advised that children age 6 to 11 months in Auckland should have an early extra MMR vaccine. This dose does not count towards their childhood immunisation schedule, ie they will still need their 15 month and 4 year doses of MMR.
2/10/19: The DHB and PHO are rationing out MMR vaccines to practices in Auckland at this stage, and we are only getting about 10 doses every 3 weeks, which is just enough to vaccinate our babies for their first MMR. At this stage, our priorities are to vaccine 1 year olds, then 4 year olds, then people under 30 who had not had any MMR vaccines. There are many more people that should be vaccinated, but until the supply issue is resolved, there are no vaccines left that we can give. More vaccines are being secured from overseas by PHARMAC, but it may be next year before it gets to our clinic.
16/9/19: There has been a temporary MMR supply issue since 9/9/19 and we have not been able to order any MMR vaccines since, the DHB has now taken over distribution management. Stock will likely be available to order again on 23/9/19. Until we can order more MMR, we are only allowed to give MMR to children for their 15 month (now giving earlier at 12 months old) and 4 year old childhood immunisations, or unimmunised Pacific and Maori people aged under 30 years. People not meeting the criteria are put into a waitlist for now. For more information, please ring us on Tuesday 24/9/19 and we may have an update.
Free Community MMR Vaccination Clinic
No further planned until vaccine supply issue resolved.
Comprehensive Care PHO Office, Building A, 42 Tawa Drive, Albany
Saturday 14th September 2019
9am to 3:30pm
For aged 1 to 50 years old, RSVP recommended
Waitakere Hospital Outpatient Clinic area, Henderson
Saturday 7th September 2019
8:30am to 2:30pm