Free vaccination against measles has been extended to all babies in Auckland aged six months and over, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today.

The move is part of a government effort to fight against measles which as of Friday had 1436 measles cases in Auckland this year, and more than 1800 cases of measles in New Zealand since the start of the year.

The Government is introducing a suite of measures including 107,520 vaccines being distributed throughout New Zealand this week and all children under 15 who have not had a single dose of MMR can be vaccinated.

Genter also confirmed 155,000 additional vaccines will arrive in the country over the next three months.


"This suite of measures is aimed at helping people to catch up with their vaccinations to rebuild the country's immunity," Genter said.

"As the mother of a young baby myself, I cannot urge parents strongly enough to get their babies vaccinated. It is the best thing you can do to protect them from getting measles."

Genter said the extension to babies six months and over was in addition to the vaccines offered to children in Auckland at 12 months and four years, and was also available to any babies six months and over travelling to Auckland.

"There will be baby and toddler pop up clinics around Auckland to ensure it is easy for parents to get their baby immunised," she said.

"I encourage whânau of children and young people aged under 15 years who may not have been vaccinated to contact their GP to book an appointment for vaccination."

About 300,000 vaccines have been administered this year, and a further 155,000 vaccines is to arrive by the end of the year in addition to the 52,000 that arrived last month.