Whangārei MP demands action measles in the north

By Heta Gardiner

National MP Dr Shane Reti says if urgent action isn't taken, Northland could also be hit with a measles outbreak.

Reti who was also a GP for more than 17 years has called on the Health Minister to put more resource into stopping the spread of the disease across the country.

“Look, Northland has to be the area that's going to get an outbreak, we're next to Auckland, we've got patches of deprivation, we're already up into the 30's.”

He says , “we need to approve the one in four pharmacists, who are allowed to vaccinate. They vaccinate for the flu vaccine already, why on earth can they not vaccinate for measles? It's an easy fix.”

Health Minister David Clark was reluctant to adopt that approach.

He outlined, “my understanding is that any issues around that relates to the immunisation register, and the importance of having really clear records. That's one of the reasons historically we don't have very high vaccinations, because we didn't have a register that was effective.”