Media statement from Hon Julie Anne Genter, Associate Minister of Health

Government announces next steps in fight against measles

Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.

The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. The suite of measures announced today includes:

  • 107,520 vaccines being distributed throughout New Zealand this week
  • Confirmation of 155,000 additional vaccines to arrive in the country over the next three months
  • Babies aged from six months who live in Auckland can receive a free vaccine
  • Nationwide all children under 15 who have not had a single dose of MMR can be vaccinated.

“This suite of measures is aimed at helping people to catch up with their vaccinations to rebuild the country’s immunity,” Julie Anne Genter said.

“Babies aged six months and over in Auckland can now get vaccinated. As the mother of a young baby myself, I cannot urge parents strongly enough to get their babies vaccinated. It is the best thing you can do to protect them from getting measles.

“This extension of eligibility is in addition to the vaccines offered to children in Auckland at 12 months and 4 years. It is also available to any babies six months and over travelling to Auckland.

"Children and babies are the most vulnerable and most likely to end up in hospital, which is why we are extending the vaccination campaign to this group.

“There will be baby and toddler pop up clinics around Auckland to ensure it is easy for parents to get their baby immunised.

“Nationwide all children under 15 who have not had a single dose of MMR can be vaccinated.

“I encourage whânau of children and young people aged under 15 years who may not have been vaccinated to contact their GP to book an appointment for vaccination.

"With over 107,000 extra vaccines now in the country we expect no child to be turned away from getting vaccinated.

“Almost 300,000 vaccines have already been administered this year, so we are making good progress at rebuilding community immunity to measles – which will protect us from further outbreaks.

“With a further 155,000 vaccines to arrive by the end of the year, in addition to the 52,000 that arrived in September, we are in a good position to further increase that record number of vaccinations administered in 2019.

“As part of our commitment to make it as easy as possible for people to get vaccinated, we are also working on ways pharmacists can provide vaccinations.

“I want to thank the hard working health sector staff across New Zealand, and in particular those in Counties Manakau, who have been on the frontline of the outbreak, ensuring we are kept safe from measles.” Julie Anne Genter said.

Groups that may have additional concerns such as women of child bearing age, people working with small children, and family members with newborns are advised to talk their GP about their vaccination status.

For health advice call Healthline for free anytime on 0800 611 116
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