Measles vaccines arrive in Canterbury – Scoop.co.nz



Eighteen thousand doses of the MMR vaccine arrived in
Canterbury this morning, and another 9,000 doses are
expected to arrive tomorrow.

The Canterbury DHB is
working with the Ministry of Health and PHARMAC on vaccine
availability for priority groups.
Canterbury Medical
Officer of Health, Dr Ramon Pink says general practice teams
have already begun vaccinating those who need it most –
that’s those most at risk of harm if they get measles.

“The immediate focus is children between the ages of
12 months and 13 years who have never been immunised,”
says Dr Pink.

“GP teams are also focused on
providing the vaccine to young adults aged 14 years to 28
years who have never been immunised.”

Dr Pink says
children and young adults are our priority at this
stage.

“Logistically general practice simply
can’t vaccinate everyone at once. We need to take a
systematic approach that targets those most in need. We’re
focusing on unimmunised children and young adults first up,
but over time we will expand access to more groups.”

“We know that one dose of measles vaccine including
MMR protects 95% of people against developing
measles.”

The number of confirmed cases of measles
in Canterbury now stands at 28 and is likely to rise further
over the coming days and weeks. Seven of the 28 cases have
been hospitalised and of these, two have been treated in
ICU.
“Measles is a highly infectious virus that can be
life threatening. Complications occur in about one in three
people, and for them measles can be serious, even
fatal.”

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“Anyone with measles needs to be
isolated from the time they become ill until 5 days after
the rash has appeared.”

Dr Pink has thanked the
Canterbury community for their response to the outbreak.

“People are taking this issue extremely seriously.
I’d like to thank the increasing number of people who are
staying isolated after being potentially exposed.”

The symptoms of measles symptoms are a cough or runny
nose or conjunctivitis, and a fever above 38.5 C, and a
rash.

If you think you may have been exposed to
measles or have symptoms, please call your general practice
first, 24/7. Calls made to general practices after hours
will be answered by a nurse who will advise you what to do
and where to go if you need to be seen

More
information about measles is available at https://www.health.govt.nz/your-health/conditions-and-treatments/diseases-and-illnesses/measles
and http://www.immune.org.nz.

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