Otago Polytechnic

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Measles and influenza outbreaks in South

MMR Vaccine shortage

Vaccine stock is limited nationally and supplies at this time have been prioritised to Auckland.

Student Health will be vaccinating the students that are already booked for their MMR vaccination, but no further bookings will be taken until vaccines are available and onsite – the date for this is unknown at this stage. 

We advise students and staff that are not vaccinated to avoid travelling to areas known to have measles.

What you need to know

  • Public Health South has advised that there is currently a measles outbreak in the Southern District.
  • One person with measles can infect many others and once exposed, it takes 10-14 days to develop the symptoms of measles (people are not infectious over this time).
  • Measles symptoms include:
    • high fever
    • runny nose
    • cough
    • sore red eye.
    • a few days later a rash starts on the face and neck before spreading to the rest of the body.
  • If you suspect that you have measles symptoms, please stay at home (to avoid the illness spreading) and phone either:
    • Student Health (03 479 6082) or the Polytech (0800 762 786) and ask to be transferred to Student Health
    • Your family GP
    • Healthline (0800 611 116) which is available for advice 24/7.
  • Immunisation against measles with two doses of MMR vaccine is the best protection and is free for all eligible people (pregnant women, immunocompromised people, and people who have not had two measles vaccines, such as MMR should be especially vigilant).
  • From 1 Jan 2019, there are 991 confirmed cases in New Zealand with 821 confirmed in the Auckland Region. If you are travelling to Auckland, make sure you are vaccinated against measles at least two weeks before you go. 

Am I vaccinated?

  • People are not at risk if they have had two vaccinations for measles, or were born before 1969 or have had measles.
  • People who may have been exposed to measles and are not fully immunised are being asked to stay in isolation until the incubation period is over.
  • On time vaccination with MMR for children at ages 15 months and 4 years is the best way to prevent measles. We encourage those aged 29 – 50 years to ensure they are fully vaccinated with two measles vaccinations. 
  • If you’re not sure if you’ve been vaccinated and need to check your immunity status, the best way to do this is:
    • look at your immunisation page of the Well Child Book – Plunket Book
    • ask your parents if you don’t have this
    • check with your practice nurse at your GP. 

Where can I get more information?

Additional information is readily available from the following links: