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21.10.2019

The measles outbreak has led to a high demand for the Measles Mumps Rubella (MMR) vaccine in Auckland.

To ensure the current vaccine supply is available to protect the most vulnerable in our community, the three District Health Boards and seven Primary Health Organisations in Auckland have agreed on temporary priorities for vaccine delivery.

These priorities are updated as new supplies of MMR become available to ensure the vaccine we have gets to where it is most needed.

Priorities for MMR vaccine expanded

Babies and children are most seriously affected by measles and our first priority is to protect them. In this outbreak Pacific and Māori people are more seriously affected by measles than other groups and are also a priority for vaccination.

As of 21 October 2019, priorities for MMR vaccine in the Auckland region are:

  • To vaccinate babies aged 6-11 months old, particularly Pacific and Māori.
  • To provide scheduled childhood immunisations at 12 months and 4 years.
  • To vaccinate people aged under 30 who have not had any MMR vaccinations, with particular focus on:
    • Pacific and Māori people
    • Students including school and tertiary students
    • Mothers and family members of newborn babies (0-6 months).
    • Teachers and early childhood educators.
  • To vaccinate some people aged 30-49 years, using clinical judgement to prioritise those:
    • Who work in higher risk environments such as institutions (e.g. prisons)
    • Who are in one of the priority groups in point 3 (e.g. teachers or new mothers aged 30-49 years)

MMR vaccination now available for 6-11-month-old babies in Auckland

From Monday 21 October, an additional dose of the MMR vaccine will be offered to babies aged 6 – 11 months in Auckland. This will be available for a three month period and then be reviewed.

Babies in this age group are most likely to be hospitalised in the current outbreak and are a priority for protection. Vaccination at 6 – 11 months is safe and gives babies good protection against measles, however, the two usual vaccinations (currently at 12 months and 4 years in Auckland) are still needed for full immunity.

More vaccine secured as outbreak continues

Although we are optimistic that the outbreak in Auckland may have peaked, it is not yet over. In the coming months, we must continue to take action to protect the most vulnerable in our community.

Around 107,520 doses of MMR vaccine are being distributed throughout New Zealand this week. An additional 155,000 vaccines will arrive in the country over the next three months.

We thank the public for their patience as we work together to protect the most vulnerable in our community. 

FOR NOTIFICATIONS OR QUERIES, CALL US ON 09 623 4600
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