The Auckland measles outbreak and the visit from two people who were infectious means that primary care across Tairāwhiti has been extremely busy over the past two weeks. Practices have been fielding numerous calls from patients wanting to know whether they or their family are vaccinated against measles and requesting vaccination. Nurses have been vaccinating many more people than usual.
The increase in Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccination rates across the country have meant that the supply has been difficult to secure in the past few days. This is a national issue. Patients making appointments for MMR vaccination are reminded that it may take a few days or even longer for this to happen.
General Practice Liaison Dr Anna Meuli says that there has been an impressive response from primary care. “On top of all their other work at this very busy time of year, practices in Tairāwhiti are going above and beyond to protect our community from the spread of measles. The vaccine supply issues mean that practices have to prioritise those most at risk:
“If you suspect that you, or someone in your whanau, could have measles ring Healthline on 0800 611 116 for advice. Do not visit any health centres without calling ahead, so that they can arrange for you to be kept apart from other patients."