- Anyone born on/after 1 January 1969 who has not had two doses of the MMR vaccine should have the MMR vaccine.
- Adults born before 1969 are considered to be immune to measles as measles was very infectious before 1969, and there was no vaccine available in Aotearoa New Zealand until then, so most adults were highly likely to be exposed. The MMR vaccine may still be needed for protection from mumps and rubella – check with your doctor if you are not sure.
- The MMR vaccine is part of the childhood immunisation schedule(external link) for children at 12 months and 15 months of age.
Women planning a pregnancy
All women of childbearing age need to know if they are protected from rubella. In pregnant women, rubella can cause serious complications to the unborn baby, especially during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. Immunity from the mother can stop the baby becoming infected.
If you are planning a pregnancy, check with your midwife or doctor whether you need to be vaccinated against rubella. When you get vaccinated, avoid getting pregnant for at least 1 month afterwards.
A single dose of MMR vaccine given to an unvaccinated person within 72 hours of first contact with an infectious person may reduce the risk of developing disease.
For babies, an additional dose of measles vaccine can be given from 6 months of age. Babies immunised before they are 12 months old will still need 2 doses according to the schedule (at 12 months and 15 months).
While measles cases in Aotearoa New Zealand are usually rare, the disease is regularly brought into the country through international travel and there was an outbreak in 2019. If you are travelling overseas, make sure you are fully vaccinated against measles before you go.