School nurses around South Auckland are being armed with vaccine as health authorities continue to fight a measles outbreak in the city.
Up to 25 school nurses are being trained for a special vaccination programme to be rolled out in 34 secondary schools in the Counties Manukau District Health Board area in the coming days.
It comes as the number of confirmed measles cases has risen to 759 people today - up by 28 cases since this time yesterday.
General manager for child, youth and maternity, Carmel Ellis, said the vaccination programme involved not only high schools, but also alternative education and teenage parent units in the area.
"This is part of a rollout that includes plans for further outreach in the community, as more funding is made available,'' she said.
A different approach to the measles problem is being taken at Manurewa High School, where 13 cases have been confirmed and yesterday led to 300 students being sent back home.
Public health nurses are due to visit Manurewa High on Tuesday to give measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) jabs to students and staff.
Members of the public are also encouraged to access the free vaccinations at three sites in South Auckland tomorrow.
WHERE TO GET A FREE MMR VACCINATION:
There will be a clinic at the Free Church of Tonga, in Māngere, from 9am to 3pm.
Another one will be open between 8.30am to 3pm at the Manukau SuperClinic every Saturday starting tomorrow.
While the Clendon Public Nursing Office, at the Clendon Shopping Centre in Manurewa, will be open every day from 9.30am to 3pm.
Ellis acknowledged that the high number of confirmed cases in the Counties Manukau area alone - more than 500 cases - means they need to continue to ramp up their efforts to stop the spread of the disease.
"Measles has made many kids and young people very sick, so please make sure your tamariki and rangatahi have their measles vaccine.
"If you're unsure, please still go and get the vaccination.''
Anyone who suspects they or someone they know has measles is told to stay home and call the free Healthline on 0800 611 116 or your family doctor.