Key Points:

New Zealand parents lag behind the rest of the developed world in having their children vaccinated, a new report shows.

Unicef's State of the World's Children report rated New Zealand 33rd out of 35 developed countries for immunisations.

It showed that of the six immunisations scheduled for children before age one, New Zealand was below the developed world average for four and equalled the other two.

The worst was for measles, which had been received by only 79 per cent of New Zealand one-year-olds, putting it only slightly ahead of the least developed countries which recorded 76 per cent coverage.

The developed world averaged 98 per cent.

"... compared with a lot of the developing countries which have mass campaigns, we don't come up too flash," Immunisation Advisory Centre research director Helen Petousis-Harris told The Press.

Misinformation about immunisation - such as an incorrect perception that it could cause autism - was "alive and well in New Zealand", she said.

Ministry of Health chief adviser on child and youth health Pat Tuohy told the newspaper New Zealand's immunisation rate was too low to prevent a measles epidemic.

The then Labour-led Government made improving immunisation rates one of its 10 health targets two years ago and aimed to have 95 per cent of children fully immunised by age two.

"We just haven't got there. We've got a lot of things that we need to be working on to do better," Ms Petousis-Harris said.

"Immunisations generally don't go to people, people have to go to the immunisations."

- NZPA