- Anyone born on/after 1 January 1969 who hasn't had 2 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. Find out if you or someone in your whānau need a measles vaccine(external link) by answering a few simple questions. The MMR vaccine may still be needed for protection from mumps and rubella – check with your doctor if you're 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, ask 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).
Not enough people in Aotearoa New Zealand are immunised against measles, which means it could just take a single case of measles to start an outbreak.
We need at least 95% of people living in New Zealand to be immunised to prevent an outbreak of measles. Importantly, this would also protect babies too young to be vaccinated, and those who are severely immunocompromised. Read more about herd immunity.
On average, 1 dose is 95% effective against measles, and 2 doses is more than 99% effective against measles.
While measles cases in Aotearoa New Zealand are usually rare, the disease is regularly brought into the country through international travel. There was an outbreak in 2019, and smaller outbreaks in Auckland in 2023. If you're travelling overseas, make sure you are fully vaccinated against measles before you go.