The measles virus is known to be eight times more contagious than Covid-19.
Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccines are available across the Whanganui region - and with some pharmacies now vaccinating, it's easier than ever to get protected.
Free MMR vaccinations are now available at Unichem, Central City Pharmacy and Countdown Pharmacy. MMR vaccines are also available through GPs and schools.
Unichem Whanganui Pharmacy owner Adam Holmes said he was pleased to be able to offer the vaccine.
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"It's the first time pharmacies have been able to offer measles vaccines and the first time we've been part of a national vaccine strategy other than influenza, so it's good to be on board," he said.
Whanganui Regional Health Network (WRHN) immunisation coordinator Sue Hina said many teenagers and young adults in the Whanganui region missed out on measles, mumps and rubella immunisations as children.
"Lots of people aged between 15 and 30 didn't get fully immunised when they were children. This puts them at risk of catching and spreading measles, which is one of the most infectious diseases for humans," Hina said.
"Alongside pharmacies and GPs, MMR vaccinations are available at WRHN's Tuesday health clinic, Whanganui Hospital's sexual health clinic, Whanganui Accident & Medical clinic (WAM) and through schools.
"We're making it as readily available and easy as possible for people to get their measles vaccination – so please, be a kaitiaki for your community and a guardian of the future, get protected from measles."
Where to go for immunisation:
• GP clinics (ask your practice nurse for a free vaccine).
• Schools via the free MMR school programme (ask your health nurse).
• If you're 16 or older, free immunisation is also available at some pharmacies in Whanganui (visit Unichem, Central City Pharmacy or Countdown Pharmacy).
• WRHN Health Clinic, Gate 3 Whanganui Hospital, Tuesday 9am–5pm.
• Whanganui Accident & Medical clinic (WAM) standard charges apply.
• Sexual Health Clinic, Whanganui Hospital Outpatient Dept, Mondays and Thursdays 5pm-6pm.