Reducing the risk of a measles outbreak

Southern DHB is encouraging people to check they are up-to-date with their vaccinations for measles mumps and rubella (MMR), as low immunisation rates and reopening international borders increase the chances of a measles outbreak.

Measles is a serious and highly-contagious disease that would put additional pressure on our health system as it contends with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Two doses of the MMR vaccine will protect 99% of people against measles,” says Deborah Kay-Corkin, Southern DHB’s Measles Campaign Coordinator. “We can stop outbreaks of measles if enough people have their MMR vaccination.”

People can check their Plunket or WellChild books, or ask their doctors to find out whether they have received two doses.

“If you’re still not sure, we recommend you get vaccinated,” she says. “There are no additional safety concerns with having an additional MMR dose. You can also have it at the same time as your COVID-19 vaccine.”

MMR vaccines are available through GPs, at many Southern pharmacies on a walk-in basis, and at the vaccination clinics at Meridian Mall in Dunedin and the Civic Theatre in Invercargill.

The MMR vaccine is free for those born in or after 1969. Those born before 1969 are already considered to be immune.


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