New Zealand health officials are urging the public to stay alert to symptoms of measles and ensure that children aged between 15 months and 4 years receive their normal MMR vaccinations.


There have now been 28 cases of measles confirmed in Canterbury, two cases in Dunedin and two isolated cases in Auckland. There has also been a recent outbreak in the Waikato this year and Dr Caroline McElnay, Director of Public Health at the Ministry of Health, warns there are also a number of international outbreaks. More cases of measles are therefore likely.

“Our first priority is to help Canterbury respond to their local outbreak, which will help protect all New Zealanders. But it’s also really important we maintain our existing effective nationwide immunization program.”

“It’s worth remembering that just one dose of MMR gives you a 95% chance of being protected. That’s why Canterbury DHB’s MMR vaccination campaign is prioritizing people aged 12 months to 28 years who have never received a measles or MMR vaccine.

“While additional vaccine stock is being diverted to Canterbury, there are no issues with vaccine supply to the rest of the country.

“We’re encouraging practices elsewhere in New Zealand to maintain delivery of the MMR vaccination at ages 15 months and 4 years and ensure that children are up to date with all their vaccinations,” says Dr McElnay.