Student measles vaccination delay

Student Health Services operations manager Margaret Perley. Photo: Supplied
Student Health Services operations manager Margaret Perley. Photo: Supplied
Clinics to vaccinate students against measles have been put on hold at the University of Otago's Student Health Service, as the Southern District Health Board prioritises children needing their vaccinations under the immunisation schedule.

About 21 students were vaccinated against measles at a special clinic on Thursday night.

A spokeswoman said the university intended to hold more clinics as vaccines became available, but they were being allocated by the SDHB on a priority basis.

"We still need students to know that for those who are unvaccinated, to please phone Student Health to go on a waiting list," Student Health acting director Margaret Perley said.

"We will record your details and contact you when vaccines are available."

Hall of residence Arana College and the University of Otago are working with health authorities after a contagious measles patient spent time on campus last weekend.

The SDHB released a statement yesterday saying two groups would be prioritised - children 15 months and 4 years old and individuals who have had "close contact" with a measles case.

"Local MMR vaccine distribution is currently being managed by Southern DHB, who are in the process of getting stock to all practices."

Despite students complaining online of waiting times of up to three weeks at Student Health, the spokeswoman said as of yesterday routine appointments were available from October 1, and nurse appointments were still available this week.

"We encourage students on regular medication to book appointments ahead of time.

"However ... we have short GP prescription clinics on a Wednesday and Friday each week."

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