STATIONARY SQUARE / SUPERVISION
Health workers urge their parents in Nelson and Marlborough to provide children with vaccination against measles.
A widespread epidemic of measles in the South Island is likely to reach Nelson and Marlborough, health professionals say.
Health worker Nelson Marlborough on Health Dr. Andrew Lindsay called on parents to ensure that their children are vaccinated against measles and to be alert to the symptoms of a highly contagious disease.
"Vaccination is the best protection against this harmful, potentially deadly disease. New Zealand children should not suffer from measles. "
The measles epidemic in Canterbury has recently erupted, two cases have been reported in Dunedin.
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Lindsay said a multidisciplinary team met on Thursday to analyze the situation and take further steps, and an incident management team would be set up to prepare for a potential epidemic.
He said that parents should check the vaccination protocol of their children, and in case of doubt, they should call their family doctor or nurse.
"Children need two doses of MMR to get a full immunization, but one dose of MMR provides 95% protection."
Lindsay said that measles perception was a rare disease or low-risk disease, but that was a mistaken belief. In 2017 More than 30 people died in Europe because of measles.
Data from Nelson Marlborough Health show that 87% of 15-month-old children were vaccinated against measles, 10.2% fell, and 2.8% were not completed on time.
Among the four-year-olds, 88% were vaccinated, 8.8% fell, and 3.2% were not completed on time.
On Thursday, the Ministry of Health informed all DHB, with the exception of Canterbury, about maintaining a national vaccination schedule for children with MMR vaccination at the age of 15 months and 4 years.
At the same time, Pharmac confirmed that the global shortage of measles vaccine forced the authorities to reduce supplies.
Operating Director Pharmac Lisa Williams said there is limited vaccine supply in the world, and Pharmac's responsibility was to provide enough supplies to meet all of New Zealand's needs.
New Zealand usually uses approximately 12,000 doses of MMR per month – 145,000 doses per year, Williams said.
"We always have a three-month supply in our domestic store, and orders are regularly delivered to replenish our supplies, because they are distributed to every region."
"[Pharmac was] continuing cooperation with suppliers locally and internationally to obtain a sufficient amount of MMR vaccine for all who need it. "
Vaccine deliveries arrived in the region on Friday for distribution to general practice.
Nelson GP spokesman Dr Graham Loveridge said there are not enough vaccines for everyone, so unvaccinated children and those who have never received a vaccine are priorities.
He had not seen any cases in Nelson yet, but he reminded people to be aware of the symptoms including nose, fever, passing eyes and a red spotted rash on the face and chest.
"It's important that people are not too worried, it's a great incentive to make sure your children are fully vaccinated, that's the best thing a parent can do for their children."