Rotorua Daily Post health and business reporter

Good time to revisit measles jab

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As the measles outbreak spreads, Rotorua parents are being urged to check their children are up to date with their immunisations.

And those who haven't vaccinated their children are being told it is a good time to reconsider their decision, according to Toi Te Ora medical officer of health Dr Phil Shoemack.

Dr Shoemack said it had been "quite a few months" since Rotorua had a case of measles, but the outbreak in Waikato was close.

"We hope that we do escape it."

Dr Shoemack said measles was very infectious.

He said the last outbreak in the Lakes region was about two years ago around the Taupo and Turangi area, after a group picked up measles at a dance competition in Sydney.

"The message is to follow the immunisation schedule."

Dr Shoemack said if there was a significant outbreak they would look to bring forward the second dose and give it earlier.

He said for those who had chosen not to immunise, it was a good time to reconsider.

Ranolf Medical Centre nurse leader Caerlie Picken said the recent outbreak had prompted more people to call the clinic to discuss whether they, and their children, were fully vaccinated.

She said some, who had moved to New Zealand from other parts of the world, were also unsure whether they'd been vaccinated.

Mrs Picken said it was a good chance for those who had previously declined or not yet gotten around to having their children vaccinated to change their mind.

If anyone had concerns they may have been exposed to measles, they should call the clinic instead of bringing the child in.

About measles:

- It is a highly infectious viral disease that can be serious.

- It is spread through the air by breathing, sneezing or coughing.

- The MMR vaccine is given as part of the usual childhood immunisations at 15 months and at 4 years.

- Vaccination is free.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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