Extra nurses deployed to south Auckland to fight measles outbreak

The Ministry of Health is rolling out extra support for immunisation in south Auckland as a measles outbreak gets worse.

Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter announced nurse vaccinators will be sent to malls, schools and churches in the area in an attempt to get more people immunised.

They will be available at a range of times including evenings and weekends.

"Immunisation is free, but we know it can be difficult for people to get to their general practice," Genter said.

"The DHB Outreach Immunisation team will be working hard to reach people who might not be currently engaged or enrolled with primary care. The DHB is currently considering how best increase opportunities right across its community."

Measles is highly infectious and can be deadly if caught, Immunisation Advisory Centre director Dr Nikki Turner told Newshub people need to get their jabs.

"A lot of adolescents and adults are not vaccinated because historically 20 or 30 years ago our immunisation programme did not do so well."

The vaccine is free nationwide for anyone who is under 50 years old who has not had two documented doses. People who need one can request it from their general practice.

Genter said people who are travelling into or out of Auckland need to ensure they're protected and are vaccinated at least two weeks before they go, provided they are more than 12 months old.

Anyone who suspects they may have measles should stay home and call their GP or Healthline on 0800 611 116.

" If you have measles it's important to avoid spreading it to others in the waiting room."