Whanganui DHB has joined a national catch-up campaign to ensure secondary school students are up to date with their immunisations.

The Are You Up To Date campaign covers MMR immunisation for measles, mumps and rubella for 13 to 29-year-olds and HPV for 13 to 26-year-olds.

"Some kids have one dose and then forget about the follow-ups, so we have consent forms going to every student's home to make sure they are up to date. Immunisation is free and yes, it is important," Whanganui public health specialist Bruce Jones said.

Jones and the DHB public health team had contacted every school in the region as well as alternative education facilities, the YMCA and those who are home-schooled.


The campaign has already begun with a Stone Soup community event at Tawhero School on Saturday, July 4.

Jones said the MMR vaccine was two doses and the HPV was two doses for under 15s and three doses for those older.

With New Zealand seeing the worst surge in two decades in measles cases the DHB said it was very important to get immunised against the highly infectious virus.

Rubella can damage unborn children, while HPV is a common virus that can lead to cervical, penile and throat cancer.

The campaign will start in the new school term later in July and run into 2021.

Later in the year, an MMR community campaign will be launched for those 19 to 29 years old.