More than 100 babies have been hospitalised after contracting measles this year.

Between January 1 and September 13, 102 babies under 12 months were sent to hospital, of a total 176 that caught measles, figures from the Institute of Environmental Science and Research show.

In the last week alone 32 babies under 1 were confirmed as having caught measles - 18 per cent of the year's total.

In each of the previous two weeks, 18 under-1s were confirmed to have measles.


On Saturday, the Herald reported one of the babies hospitalised had almost died.

Lakyn-Ray Auloa was 9 months old when she was admitted to hospital in August with pneumonia, an early symptom of measles.

Her parents were told she had a 50 per cent chance of dying, and could have brain seizures for the rest of her life.

She is now in recovery but her parents told the Herald it was the scariest ordeal of their lives.

Family speaks of measles ordeal: 'We were told she might not survive'
MMR vaccine supply problems continue to frustrate Auckland doctors
Measles outbreak: Why are some vaccinated people still getting sick?

A fresh batch of 52,000 MMR vaccines was due in the country over the weekend. Photo / Heather Hazzan, SELF Magazine
A fresh batch of 52,000 MMR vaccines was due in the country over the weekend. Photo / Heather Hazzan, SELF Magazine

The country's measles outbreak is not yet slowing down, despite a mammoth vaccination effort.

Across New Zealand there were 165 confirmed measles cases reported in the week to Friday September 13, bringing the total for the year to 1275, according to the ESR figures.

Of those cases, 441 people - almost 35 per cent - ended up in hospital.


Last week saw six new cases in Northland, up from two the previous week, and seven new cases in Waikato - up from three the previous week.

Across Auckland's three DHBs there were 142 new cases, compared to 135 the week before. More than 100 cases last week were in Counties Manukau.

There's been a surge in vaccinations which led to some GPs and clinics running short or running out of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine.

Auckland's medical officer of health, Dr William Rainger, said last week that vaccination rates had quadrupled compared to three weeks prior.

It took two weeks to develop immunity to measles following the MMR jab, so the effect would hopefully be seen with a levelling off of infection rates in coming weeks, he said.

A shipment of 52,000 fresh doses was due to arrive on the weekend, to be distributed this week.