Two clinics for measles vaccination

Free measles vaccination clinics will be held in Dunedin as the Southern District Health Board redoubles its efforts to stamp out the potentially lethal disease.

The SDHB launched a public information campaign late last year to try to boost its measles immunisation targets, after reporting that they were below target.

There were two outbreaks of the disease in the South in 2019.

In February cases were detected in Te Anau, Milford Sound and in a University of Otago student, and in October a serious outbreak recorded 72 cases of measles in Queenstown, Wanaka, Dunedin, Oamaru and Gore.

That same year 80 people in Samoa, mostly children, died from the disease.

Measles is easily prevented by vaccination, and Public Health South has organised two free measles vaccination clinics in Dunedin this and next week.

The clinics were for young people aged 15 to 30 years who had not already been fully immunised for measles, charge nurse manager Victoria Bryant said.

"If you haven’t been immunised, or you cannot find your childhood vaccination records and your GP does not have a copy of them, then the Ministry of Health recommends you have the MMR vaccine now," Ms Bryant said.

"There are no additional safety concerns with having an extra dose."

The clinics will be held at Wakari Hospital, on the second floor of the main block, from 1-4pm on February 17 and February 24.

As part of a nationwide campaign to combat measles free vaccinations for 15-30-year-olds are already available from GPs and participating pharmacies.

‘‘We are offering these two clinics for people who might not be enrolled with a general practice, as an alternative," Ms Bryant said.

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