‘Imported’ flu and measles could add strain to health system

Health officials have serious concerns about low vaccination rates for measles, mumps and rubella among children as border openings usher new illnesses, including seasonal flu.

Childhood vaccinations have been steadily declining but have dropped more sharply during the pandemic. Last year 250,000 measles vaccines – more than half of the doses ordered – had to be thrown out before they could be used in a catch-up campaign following 2019’s deadly outbreak.

Director of Public Health Dr Caroline McElnay ​said the Ministry of Health was “very concerned” about low childhood immunisation rates, particularly for measles, mumps and rubella, among babies and young adults. It was urgently focusing on increasing rates, she said during a Covid-19 briefing in Wellington. Read more

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