Thursday, 16 June 2016

4. Measles Outbreak

You may be aware there is currently a measles outbreak in New Zealand, so far mainly affecting communities in the North Island.

This is a timely reminder to check your child's vaccination status and ensure they are up-to-date with their vaccinations.  Please let your school or early childcare centre know your child's vaccination status, if you haven't already done so.  They will require written evidence of which vaccines your child has had.  You may also use this an an opportunity to review the vaccination status of your whole family.

Two MMR vaccinations provide the best protection for measles, and the vaccine is normally given at 15 months and 4 years of age.  The MMR vaccine was not on the childhood immunisation schedule until 1990.  That means many adults and parents may not have received the required 2 doses of MMR and are encouraged to contact their practice nurse to discuss catch-up MMR.  If you are unsure, you can check with your GP or your Wellchild book for your vaccination history.  Catch-up MMR is available for all children and adults who have not received their two MMR doses on today's current schedule.

If a child becomes sick with measles at your school or centre, children that are not considered immune to measles will be excluded.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your public health nurse, practice nurse or visit: www.health.govt.nz/measles
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