Be a Guardian of the Future: Get a free measles immunisation

Protect against measles.People aged between 15 and 30 who haven’t had their MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine are urged to get a free immunisation now – even if they’re not sure.

More than 2,000 Kiwis got sick from measles in 2019 and more than 700 needed hospital treatment.

“The measles outbreak in 2019 and the current COVID-19 pandemic have shown the impact infectious diseases can have when we are not immune,” says Canterbury Medical Officer of Health Ramon Pink. “Now is the time to catch up on the vaccinations we have easy access to such as MMR, to protect our community and whānau in the future.”

People born between 1990 and 2005 are most at risk of catching measles – since many didn’t have their scheduled childhood MMR vaccinations. So you are more likely to catch measles and also spread it to others. This is why there is now a national catch-up programme focusing on improving your immunity.

Protect yourself and others against this highly infectious disease

“Measles is more than eight times more infectious than COVID-19. It can make you very sick and affect your health for the rest of your life. Getting a catch-up dose now will make sure you and those around you are protected in the future,” says Dr Pink.

About ninety-five percent of people will be protected by just one dose of MMR. Two doses ensures more than 99 percent of people are protected. The vaccine also protects against mumps and rubella. It is safe to have an MMR even if you are unsure if you have been fully immunised.

“We’re urging everyone aged 15 to 30 years old to get at least one MMR vaccination to help prevent future outbreaks of measles,” says Dr Pink. “Ask your doctor, parents or caregiver if you had two doses of MMR as a kid. If you didn’t or aren’t sure, it’s a good idea to get one MMR dose now.”

Get your for your free measles catch up jab at your local General Practice team in Canterbury and the West Coast. You can also get an MMR catch up from some pharmacies if you are over 16.

MMR is also part of the childhood immunisation schedule. Anyone born after 1969 is still eligible for two free MMR doses.

Source: Canterbury DHB CEO Update (28th September 2020) and West Coast DHB media release (13th October 2020).

Published on Monday, September 28th, 2020, under Uncategorised
Page last updated: 01/06/2021

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