You’ve probably heard there’s a measles outbreak in Auckland right now. Measles is a highly infectious and very serious airborne disease. It spreads quickly and easily to people who aren’t immune to it.

If you’ve had measles before, have had at least one dose of the MMR vaccine or are over 50 years old, you are considered immune.

But if you’re not immune, the best protection is the MMR vaccine.

In Auckland, the free measles vaccination is being targeted to vulnerable populations who are being most affected by the current outbreak. This includes:

  1. Under-five-year-olds: it’s important that all children in the Auckland region receive their childhood measles vaccinations on time at 12 months and four years old.
  2. Young Pacific and Māori people aged 15-29 who haven’t had a MMR vaccine previously.

Auckland’s three district health boards are working with health providers, churches, employers, schools and others  in their communities to ensure vaccine is available where it’s needed most.

Please know the symptoms of measles – a fever, runny nose, cough and sore red eyes, with a rash a few days later.

If you think you might have measles, it’s important to ring your doctor before you visit. That way, if you do have measles, you won’t spread it to others in the waiting room.

More advice and information about measles and MMR vaccination is available by free phoning Healthline on 0800 611 116 or the Immunisation Advisory Centre on 0800 IMMUNE (466 863).

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