'Please vaccinate': Desperate plea from mother as five more measles cases brings total to 20 in Canterbury

There are now 20 confirmed cases of measles in Canterbury with five more confirmed on Saturday.

There is widespread fear in the wider Canterbury community with vaccinations in short supply and parents finding it hard to get the information they need.

Despite concern amongst parents in Rangiora the weekend's community events are still going ahead.

Organisers of today's Colour Festival say they got the all clear from authorities to run the event and have still attracted a big crowd.

"I think people are using common sense," said Karl Howarth from the Colour Festival.

"If they think they've been in contact or had measles, I think their wider family and friends are being careful and making sure they don't go out and spread the measles."

But that is little comfort for Rangiora mother of two Hayley Vogel.

"It's a bit of an overwhelming time, but we'll just stay as housebound as we can," she told Newshub.

Her nine-month-old has a heart condition and she's been advised to get her vaccinated despite being under 12 months.

"Any kind of sickness, even just a cold, seems to trigger her heart issues, so we end up in the hospital. So with something like measles, it would be... I can't even imagine what it would be like," said Ms Vogel.

She's heard her local clinic has run out of vaccines, but they are so overwhelmed she can't even get through to them on the phone.

"I've been trying to ring every day. I can't even get through at all. I've tried multiple times each day."

The Canterbury District Health Board has confirmed 18,000 more vaccines will arrive on Wednesday and they will be ordering more next week.

They say any advice required by parents should come from their own GP - that's if they can get through to them.

Ms Vogel said there is a lot of fear and worry within families of their community.

She has one strong message to all parents: "Please vaccinate your children, I just don't understand why we've even got to this stage".

One mother Newshub spoke to has a four-month-old who contracted measles. She believes it happened in a Rangiora supermarket.

She says he has been very ill, with a high temperature and a typical measles rash.

When she was sitting at the hospital, she said she was scared and angry with people who choose not to vaccinate their children.