Measles

Measles overseas and in New Zealand | Immunisation Advisory Centre

National MMR vaccination advice modified in light of current vaccine supply concerns

The Ministry of Health has modified the standard MMR vaccination catch-up advice.

Advice for those outside Canterbury

Infants aged under 15 months

  • Infants living outside of Canterbury are recommended to receive their MMR vaccination at 15 months of age as per the Immunisation Schedule.

Children aged between 15 months and 4 years

  • Pre-school aged children living outside of Canterbury should receive their normal MMR vaccinations as per the Immunisation Schedule.

Click here for more information for children aged 12 months to under 5 years.

Older children, teenagers and adults aged under 29 years

  • In the short term vaccine supplies are limited. Vaccinators are recommended to prioritise those who do not have any documented measles-containing vaccine doses when aged 12 months or older and administer one catch-up MMR vaccination. This is because after one measles-containing vaccine (measles only, measles-rubella only or MMR vaccines) 90–95 people in 100 are protected from measles. The second MMR vaccine dose is to make sure the 5–10% who are still susceptible to measles have a second opportunity to become protected.
  • The second MMR catch-up dose is recommended to be administered once MMR vaccine demand returns to normal (and a minimum of 4 weeks after the first MMR dose).

Adults aged between 29 and 50 years

  • Adults in this age group are expected to have received at least one measles-containing vaccination. However, if the person does not have any documented measles-containing vaccine doses when aged 12 months or older the vaccinator can administer one catch-up MMR vaccination. 
  • Subsequent MMR catch-up doses are recommended to be administered once MMR vaccine demand returns to normal (and a minimum of 4 weeks after the first MMR dose).

Click here for more information about children at primary, intermediate or high school, and adults born in 1969 or later.

Adults aged 50 years or older (born before 1969)

  • Adults born in New Zealand prior to 1969 are considered to be immune to measles as there was no measles containing vaccine until 1969 and the disease is so highly infectious. MMR vaccination is not generally indicated for adults born in New Zealand prior to 1969. 
  • Adults born overseas prior to 1969 may have received a measles-containing vaccination. If you are unsure whether an individual is likely to be susceptible to measles, please call us on 0800 IMMUNE (0800 466 863).