Measles outbreak: Important advice for travellers to Pacific Islands

The Ministry of Health yesterday issued advice for travellers to Samoa, Tonga, the Philippines and Fiji and to any countries experiencing a measles outbreak. Travellers to these areas are advised to be up-to-date with their MMR vaccinations or get vaccinated.

People who aren’t immune and have early symptoms of measles (fever, cough, runny nose, sore eyes and/or a rash) should not travel.


The Ministry of Health's current national priorities for MMR vaccination are:

  • ensuring all children receive their vaccinations on time at 15 months (12 months in Auckland) and four years to maintain the national Childhood Immunisation Schedule
  • susceptible close contacts within 72 hours of first exposure to measles when possible
  • babies aged six months to 11 months who live in Auckland or who are travelling to Auckland or overseas to a country that has an active outbreak of measles
  • children and adolescents aged 15 and under who have not had a single dose of MMR
  • in accordance with the National Immunisation Schedule, all children under five who have not received either dose of MMR should be actively recalled. We consider active recall of this group to be in line with the priority groups.
  • people under the age of 50 travelling from New Zealand to Samoa, Tonga, Philippines and Fiji
  • People travelling to a region where there is an active outbreak of measles – regions with measles outbreaks can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Learn more

National Measles Travel Alert 2019 Ministry of Health
Measles outbreak 2019 Ministry of Health