Just one dose of the MMR vaccine gives you a 95% chance of being protected against measles. The reason for a second dose is to make sure the 5% who need this second vaccine get immunity. It’s important to ensure that the people who need to be immunised the most can access the vaccine.
Currently, there is enough vaccine in New Zealand to meet the additional demands in Canterbury and maintain normal scheduled MMR immunisations at ages 15 months and 4 years across all of New Zealand.
People under 50 years who have not received any previous measles-containing vaccine, and not had measles disease, will be vaccinated as supplies are available.
People under 50 years who would like a second MMR vaccine are being asked to be patient so that those with no vaccinations can get immunised first. Wait a couple of weeks then call your practice or medical centre to arrange for a vaccination.
People over 50 years are highly likely to be immune due to having had the disease as children. Before 1969, there was no national vaccination campaign against measles in New Zealand and almost everyone caught the disease as children as it is so infectious. Those who have recovered from the disease are almost always immune, so it is very rare to see any measles in people born in New Zealand before 1969.
More updated measles advice from the Ministry of Health.