Measles: Are you immunised?
Getting immunised is the best thing you can do to keep yourself, your whānau and your community safe from serious, infectious diseases.
But if you’re aged 15-30, you may not have been fully immunised against measles.
Ask your doctor, parents or caregiver if you had two doses of the MMR vaccine as a child. If you didn’t, or aren’t sure, play it safe and get immunised by your GP (doctor). It’s free and there’s no appointment fee either.
If you're over 16, you can also get immunised for free from a participating pharmacy. Just turn up – you don’t need an appointment or to bring anything with you. You’ll need to wait for 20 minutes after.
Your GP may also call you, or your parents, to offer an appointment. If you get measles – or you haven’t had MMR and are in the same room as someone with measles – you will have to isolate for two weeks. So say ‘yes’ if a health professional offers you an MMR vaccine, so that you don’t miss out on earning, learning or having fun.
Blenheim and Picton pharmacies
- Hurst & Taylor Unichem Pharmacy
- Wairau Pharmacy
- Community Care Pharmacy
- Unichem Springlands
- Unichem Redwoodtown
- Civic Pharmacy
- Picton Healthcare Pharmacy
Richmond, Motueka and Mapua pharmacies
- Unichem Richmond Mall, Richmond
- McGlashen Pharmacy Limited, Richmond
- Unichem 162 High St Pharmacy, Motueka
- Bay Pharmacy, Motueka
- Mapua Pharmacy
- Greenwood St Pharmacy, Motueka
- Life Pharmacy, Motueka
Golden Bay pharmacies
- Golden Bay Pharmacy, Takaka
- Victory Square Pharmacy
- Life Pharmacy Prices
- Harley's Pharmacy, Tahunanui
- Collingwood Street Pharmacy
You are eligible for free MMR immunisation if you meet any of these criteria:
- you were born after 1 January 1969 and are eligible to receive funded healthcare in New Zealand and you have not previously received two doses of MMR vaccine
- you are aged under 18 regardless of your immigration status
- you are a Recognised Seasonal Employers Scheme worker
More information on eligibility can be found on the Ministry of Health's website.
To find out what immunisations you've had already, check your Well Child/Tamariki Ora Health Book (‘Plunket Book’). Your GP can also access your immunisation record.
People born from 2005 onwards have their immunisations recorded on the National Immunisation Register (NIR). People born before 2005 may have some immunisations given since 2005 (eg, vaccinations given at school) recorded on the NIR.
Your doctor, parents or caregiver may also know if you’ve had the MMR vaccine.
If you’re not sure, play it safe and get immunised. There are no additional safety concerns with having extra doses of the MMR vaccine.
Getting an MMR vaccination is the best way to stop you, and people you care about, getting measles. MMR also protects against mumps and rubella.
Measles spreads faster than almost any other disease on the planet. It can make you very sick and affect your health for the rest of your life. Some people can even die from measles.
Measles is more than eight times more infectious than COVID-19, but there is a vaccine for measles. And it’s safe – the MMR vaccine has an excellent safety record and has been used in New Zealand since 1990.
If you get measles – or you haven’t had MMR and are in the same room as someone with measles – you will have to isolate for two weeks. Get your measles vaccination (MMR) so you don’t miss out on earning, learning or having fun.
Some people can’t be immunised against measles because they have compromised immune systems (eg, if they have cancer), or they’re pregnant or too young. We need to protect them by being immunised.
Making an informed decision
Immunisation is your choice. The Immunisation Advisory Centre (University of Auckland) has a lot of good information sources to help you make an informed decision about immunisation. Visit the Immunisation Advisory Centre's website.
In 2019, more than 2,000 New Zealanders got sick with measles. More than 700 needed hospital treatment.
Also in 2019, 80 people died of measles in Samoa – including many children.
We can stop outbreaks of measles, mumps and rubella if enough people are immunised against MMR.
Two doses of MMR will protect 99% of people against measles and rubella, and around 85% of people from mumps. A small number of people who are immunised may still become ill. If that happens, they usually get a milder illness than people who have not been immunised.
All vaccines approved for use in New Zealand have a good safety record and have ongoing safety monitoring. Go to the Ministry of Health's webpage about vaccine safety and vaccine ingredients to help you make an informed decision about immunisation.
Learn more about immunisation, measles and the MMR vaccine by watching these videos below.
Immunisation and how it works
In this video, Hastings GP Dr Kiriana Bird talks about how immunisation works and why it is important for you and your community.
Immunisation: Common questions answered
In this video, Hastings GP Dr Kiriana Bird answers some common questions people have about vaccines, eg, what’s in a vaccine, how effective is it, and how do I know it’s safe?
Measles and the MMR vaccine
This video from the Immunisation Advisory Centre (University of Auckland) is a quick summary of measles facts, made during New Zealand’s 2016 measles outbreaks.
Page last updated: 26/08/2020