Starship welcomes change in first MMR vaccination age

Starship welcomes the Auckland Regional Public Health Service announcement that the first measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination has been brought forward to 12 months from 15 months in Auckland, as a response to the current measles outbreak.

Leilani Hipa, Starship Community Nurse says: “The team at Starship Hospital have seen some very unwell children coming with measles.

“It’s heart-breaking that kids are suffering like this from a preventable illness. Parents, it’s really important you get your children vaccinated so they can avoid catching this horrible virus. Your kids can have the vaccination free of charge at your GP.

“What I tell the families I work with is that vaccination is not just for them, it’s for those around them who are vulnerable and are not able to get the vaccination, such as young babies and people undergoing some cancer treatments. Do it for those who can’t.”

Measles is one of the most contagious viruses, and anyone who is not immune and who has been in the same space as someone with the illness is at risk of becoming unwell.

Leilani says the early symptoms of measles are a fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, then a rash.

If you think you or your child has measles – or you’ve been in contact with someone you believe has the disease – it’s important to call your doctor or healthcare centre before turning up so you can be isolated on arrival.

For more information and translated resources and fact sheets go to www.arphs.health.nz(external link)

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