Latest News 22 October 2019 | The measles outbreak has led to high demand for the Measles Mumps Rubella (MMR) vaccine in Auckland.
To ensure 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 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 Maaori people are more seriously affected by measles than other groups and are also a priority for vaccination.
As at 21 October 2019, priorities for MMR vaccine in the Auckland region are:
- To vaccinate babies aged 6-11 months old, particularly Pacific and Maaori.
- 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 Maaori 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 more information on measles and the current outbreak visit the Auckland Regional Public Health website.
For information on the MMR vaccine visit the Immunisation Advisory Centre website.