Many teenagers and young adults missed out on measles, mumps and rubella immunisation as children. They may not be fully protected from these diseases. Being immunised now is important to protect them and their family/whānau and stop future disease outbreaks.
About measles, mumps and rubella
Measles, mumps and rubella are caused by viruses that are spread from person to person by infected droplets in the air. Measles virus causes a rash, fever, runny nose, cough and sore red eyes. Measles virus can cause ear infection, lung infection, brain swelling, or, rarely, death.3
Mumps virus can cause fever, headache and swelling around the face. Mumps virus can also cause swelling of the testicles, ovaries or breasts. In severe cases, mumps virus can cause swelling of the layer over the brain or, rarely, brain swelling, or death.
Rubella virus can cause a rash, fever and swollen glands. Some people will not feel sick. They do not know they have the disease, but they can still spread it to others. Rubella can be dangerous for a woman who is pregnant. If she has the disease it can damage her baby’s ears, eyes, heart or brain.
The best protection against measles, mumps, and rubella is two doses of MMR vaccine.
About the vaccine
The MMR vaccine is free for young people who are eligible to receive publicly funded healthcare in New Zealand.
Two doses of MMR protect 99% of people against measles and rubella, and around 85% of people from mumps. A small number of people who are immunised may still get the disease. If that happens, they do not usually get as sick as people who have not been immunised.
If you are not sure whether you or your child has had two doses of MMR, two doses of MMR are recommended. There are no safety concerns with having extra doses.
If you or your child has had measles, two doses of MMR are recommended for mumps and rubella protection. There are no safety concerns with having the vaccine for people who are
already protected from measles.
All children and young people aged under 18 years. Adults born 1969 or later who are eligible to receive publicly funded health and disability services in New Zealand.
Why you should get immunised
Lots of people aged between 15 and 30 didnt get fully immunised when they were children. This puts you at risk of catching and spreading measles.
Ask you doctor, parent or caregiver if you had two doses of the MMR vaccine as a child. Some other countries only immunize against measles and rubella. So, even if you were immunized against measles overseas, make sure you get your free MMR in New Zealand so you are protected against mumps too.