Prime Minister urges families to vaccinate children against measles

By Te Ao - Māori News

The number of people infected with measles continues to rise in Auckland.  As a result, the Ministry of Health is considering a number of options including the possibility of making the vaccine available at chemists.

More than 900 people across the country have contracted the measles virus.

The Prime Minister urged parents to seek out free vaccines for their children.

As you know it by now I've been saying it repeatedly immunisation is the best way to fight this outbreak and prevent outbreaks elsewhere, this morning's update tells us there have been 963 confirmed cases since this outbreak began in March."

Debate over immunisation has circulated for a long time and one mother who chose to immunise stands by her decision not to vaccinate, despite her children contracting the virus recently.

Erica Muna Lee, "That's what you get confronted with when you don't immunise unfortunately that is the perspective out there but kei te pai I know and seeing them go through what they've been through I know I made the right decision their bodies are natural I know that there's been nothing put into them I've made the right decision and if people don't agree that's fine."

While local DHB wouldn't comment on this specific case they encouraged those with concerns to consider all the options and seek advice.

Carmel Ellis of the Counties Manukau District Health Board says, "If parents do have concerns about particular vaccines we encourage them to talk to their GPs or practice nurses or they can contact Healthline and with also coordinators within the DHB ."

The Director General of the Ministry of Health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield says, "There is an obligation on all health professionals and particularly GPs and those dealing with parents and to make sure there is information available and children are vaccinated if they are eligible."

The Ministry of Health says the number of anti-vaxxers has declined significantly over time and that nearly 91 per cent of 2-year-old's have received their MMR vaccines across the country.