Special training underway for school nurses to fight measles outbreak

School nurses in south Auckland are being trained up to become the next weapon in the fight against measles as numbers continue to soar.

School nurses in south Auckland are being upskilled so a vaccination programme can be rolled out.

"Counties Manukau is planning very rapidly to have increased access to vaccine and that includes a range of different outreach services," Dr Nikki Turner from Immunisation Advisory Centre told Newshub.

"Our own organisation has been actively involved this week in supporting training more vaccinators."

School nurses are learning to become specialist vaccinators to try and get more children immunised and help stop the spread of measles.

This programme will cover 25 nurses in 34 high schools as health official's battle to bring the outbreaks under control.

Dozens of new cases are being recorded across the city daily, now up to 759 in total, with most of them in south Auckland.

It's forced New Zealand Rugby League to cancel its Secondary Schools competition which was due to be held next week.

At Manurewa High School, 1000 students had to stay home after an outbreak of 14 cases. Public health nurses will be visiting next week to set-up a special vaccination station.

While a number of community clinics are also opening up, one at Clendon Shopping Centre has already had a steady stream of people wanting their jabs.

It's a global problem. The UK had eliminated the disease but it's now lost that status along with three other European countries.

New Zealand is six months away from doing the same.

"New Zealand is highly likely to lose its elimination status unless nationally we take a much stronger approach to vaccinating, particularly those who've missed out," said Dr Turner.

Those who've missed out include young and mid-life adults who didn't get vaccinated when they were young and younger children, particularly in areas of high deprivation and poverty who are struggling to get their vaccinations on time.

Those wanting to get vaccinated can go to the following outreach clinics.

  • Free Church of Tonga, Mangere, Saturday 31 August, 9am-3pm
  • Manukau SuperClinic, Manukau, Saturdays, 8.30am-3pm
  • Clendon Public Nursing Office, Clendon Shopping Centre, Manurewa.




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