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Measles and rubella officially eliminated from New Zealand

The World Health Organization declared New Zealand to be measles and rubella free after 3 years without a case of either disease originating within New Zealand. Unfortunately, cases of  measles or rubella from contact with overseas travellers who have the disease and are able to spread it when they arrive in New Zealand continue to occur.

It is important for everyone born in 1969 or later to have two doses of the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine documented in their medical notes. When an individual’s immunisation records are not easily accessible, it is preferable to administer catch-up doses of MMR vaccine. There are no safety concerns with administering MMR vaccine to someone who has previously received two doses or who is immune to measles, mumps and/or rubella provided there are no contraindications to live vaccines.

Adults born in New Zealand before 1969 are considered to be immune to measles. Catch-up doses of MMR vaccine are free through your family doctor.

Click on this link to read the Ministry of Health media release in full.


Last updated: Oct 2017