October 26, 2020
Push to mend gaps in measles resistance
A south Auckland doctor says it’s essential to cut down the risk of another measles epidemic, especially in the time of COVID.
Health authorities are encouraging Māori and Pasifika aged from 15 to 29 to get the free measles vaccine because that was a generation that missed out getting the full course of immunisation in their childhood.
Last year’s measles outbreak infected more than 1500 people, sending 500 to hospital, and also spread to Samoa where it killed 72 people.
Dr Rawiri Jansen says if people have any doubt if they were vaccinated, there is no problem getting another shot.
He says measles is more infectious than COVID-19.
"You walk through the mall and you are exposing lots and lots of people. With COVID, we are sort of counting the minutes you need to be in a room with someone close. Measles is more contagious than that and the good news is we have the vaccines ready to go so anyone, Māori and Pacific, 15 to 29, go and get vaccinated, now," Dr Jansen says.
He says it’s important to keep COVID testing levels up because of the increased amount of social and family interaction that has just happened over the long Labour Weekend.
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