Protect your tamariki against measles DL flyer - HP8198

June 2023
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Information about measles immunisation for parents and caregivers.

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June 2023
September 2022
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Protect your tamariki against measles 

Measles is a highly contagious virus that can spread very quickly. It can be very dangerous, particularly for tamariki aged under 5.

The best way to protect your tamariki against measles is to get them immunised. The first dose is given at 12 months and the second dose at 15 months of age.

What is measles?

Measles is a viral infection that is highly contagious. It’s spread through coughing and sneezing. Symptoms typically begin with high fever, cough, runny nose, and red watery eyes, and then develop into the classical measles rash starting on the face and moving down the body.

How serious is it?

Measles can be dangerous, particularly for children aged under 5. It spreads very quickly and in serious cases can lead to pneumonia and brain infection. About 1 in 10 people with measles need to go to hospital. In a small number of cases, measles can be fatal.

When should my tamariki be immunised?

The measles vaccine is given to tamariki as part of their 12 month and 15 month immunisations. Your tamariki can get their FREE measles immunisation at your doctor. If your child is more than 15 months old and hasn’t had both doses of the measles vaccine, they can still catch up for free. Talk to your doctor, nurse or healthcare provider.

How effective is the measles vaccine?

The measles vaccination is also called the MMR vaccine. It protects tamariki against three viral infections – measles, mumps and rubella. The MMR vaccine is very effective. After one dose, about 95 percent of people are protected from measles and after two doses 99 percent of people are protected.

How do I find out if my child has had their measles vaccinations?

If you’re unsure if your tamariki are up to date with their vaccinations, it may be recorded in their Well Child Tamariki Ora (Plunket) book. If it’s not, and you’re still unsure whether your child is up to date with their vaccinations, check with your doctor.

Your child should be immunised against a range of other diseases at various points throughout their childhood and adolescence. These vaccinations are FREE.

To find out more about what vaccinations they need, speak to your doctor, nurse or healthcare provider, or visit

Side effects

Following immunisation, a small number of children may experience a headache, slight fever, nausea (feeling sick) and feeling generally unwell and tired. Some children might develop a rash, but this is rare. Most side effects shouldn’t last more than a day or two.

For more information about getting your tamariki immunised against measles

  • talk to your doctor, nurse, or healthcare provider 
  • call Healthline on 0800 611 116
  • visit