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Published Tuesday 27 Aug 2019

The best protection for very young children is to ensure that those around them are vaccinated. This means ensuring family members, whanau and carers are vaccinated.

The Ministry is monitoring the Auckland outbreak closely. We are currently recommending that all one year old children in Counties Manukau, Auckland and Waitemata DHBs should receive their first MMR early to protect them from measles. In this region, the 15 month immunisations, which include MMR, have been brought forward to age 12 months. The second MMR immunisation continues to be offered at 4 years of age.

In general, only children under 12 months who are travelling to countries with uncontrolled outbreaks of measles should receive the vaccine. Our current advice is that babies under 12 months old who are living in or travelling to Auckland do not need an additional early dose of the vaccine.

The MMR vaccine can be given to children as young as 6 months old after consultation with their doctor. If you are travelling overseas with your infant or have concerns about their potential exposure to measles you should discuss this with your doctor. 

Antibodies transferred from the mother to the baby can provide some protection and make the MMR vaccine less effective until about 1 year of age. Because the vaccine's effectiveness is lower for babies under 12 months of age, if they are given the vaccine, they will still need two further doses of the vaccine once they turn 1 year old for long term protection. 

High immunisation rates protect our whole community from the spread of serious diseases. 

It really important all children receive their free routine MMR immunisations on time. We also know that teenagers and young adults are less likely to be protected, so it's really important young people people are taking action to protect themselves and those around them. 

Immunisation is the best protection against measles, and it's free.  After one dose of the MMR vaccine, about 95% of people are protected. 

For more key messages about measles, click HERE.