A mother was turned away eight times trying to get a vaccination for her child with a shortage of measles vaccines.

The Bay of Plenty has a measles vaccination shortage after a distribution pause by the Ministry of Health on Tuesday.

Western Bay of Plenty Primary Health Organisation's manager of general practice services Phil Back said the halt was due to the ministry's attempt to get a snapshot of the supply situation, "there are now delays with ProPharma supplying the vaccinations".

"Last night we put a brief pause on vaccination distribution from some warehouses while we were working through some logistical issues. While this pause has now been lifted, it may have an impact on orders received today."


This is while New Zealand faces a massive increase in measles cases, with 821 cases of measles in Auckland, and 991 confirmed cases notified across the country.

In the Western Bay, Back said 650 MMR vaccinations are needed across the 15 practices but there were only 100 in stock.

"Everyone is doing their best to deal with the demand, but the reality is that the regional distribution centre for ProPharma, which is based in Hamilton, is reporting that it is receiving orders for 350 vaccines per hour."

"We are therefore aware that while general practices are doing their best to maintain their stocks of MMR, demand is likely to exceed supply," he said.

Back said extra "pop-up" vaccination clinics were being organised with the DHB and primary care networks for residents and visitors to the Bay.

Details on this would be available next week.

Tauranga mother Jessica Barnes called eight general practices (GP) yesterday and a few more today to get the MMR for her son.

She needs to go to Auckland with her 3-year-old son Oliver who had only had one of his MMRs.


She was turned away by all but one centre, the reasons being they had run out of stock.

Jessica Barnes and her son Oliver, 3. Photo / Supplied
Jessica Barnes and her son Oliver, 3. Photo / Supplied

"Even getting laughed at by practices I call up when I tell them my son isn't an enrolled patient," she said.

"I Just got told they don't have enough stock for their own patients let alone anyone else."

Barnes needed to take her son to a specialist eye clinic in Auckland and could not put it off.

"I'm still very concerned with going into a hospital where there is measles, it's airborne and he has a known crappy immune system."

Her son has had his first MMR and she said although it gave him some protection, she was not prepared to risk it.

He was a generally sick child, "nearly always sick" and she was terrified he would catch the virus.

A 30-year-old Rotorua man, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, had been turned away or told he was not a priority when he asked to be immunised.

He has tried to either get immunised or find out what his immunity status was through blood tests.

"On both fronts, this has been unsuccessful," he said.

He was told immunity could not be checked and he had tried two centres in Rotorua which he said had told him did not have any vaccinations in stock.

He said he had also been told he was a low priority and women and children took precedence which made him "feel a bit expendable".

He recently found out he had received only one shot as a child and was concerned for others because he was in customer service and travelled a lot.

"With my movements for work, I could potentially be one of 'those people' who pass it round."