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Information for
health professionals

Information for General Practice

The Government has launched a year-long national measles campaign with a focus on making sure that all people aged 15 to 30 years (15th birthday to 30th birthday) are immunised with MMR.

The campaign has a strong focus on equity and making sure we do everything we can to reduce gaps in immunisation between different groups, in particular Māori and Pacific peoples, and those with disabilities, or living rurally.

This catch-up campaign for people aged 15 to 30 years is a one dose campaign. MMR is also part of the childhood immunisation schedule which from 1 October 2020 has changed to fully protect children at a younger age with doses at 12 and 15 months (formerly 15 months and 4 years). In addition, anyone born after January 1969 continues to be eligible for two free MMR doses.

The priority of the campaign is to offer at least one dose of MMR to people who are aged between 15-30 years old. However measures should be put in place to ensure that everyone has two recorded doses of MMR on the NIR.

Eligibility and Funding

While the one dose measles catch-up campaign especially targets people aged 15 to 30 years, everyone in a General Practice’s enrolled population born after 1 January 1969 remains eligible for funded vaccines.

No co-payment is to be charged to people for the administration of the MMR vaccine for eligible users.

General Practice will be funded via the normal mechanism for immunisation claims for their enrolled population born after 1 January 1969 and also to provide opportunistic immunisations to casual patients.

Advice from Ministry of Health on administering MMR and the COVID-19 vaccine to Tier 1 workers

Thank you for continuing to focus your efforts on reaching as many 15-30-year olds for their MMR immunisation.

There needs to be a four week gap between receiving the MMR and COVID-19 vaccine.

There may be an overlap between the 15-30-year olds targeted by the measles immunisation campaign and people working at the border or MIQ facilities and their household contacts who are eligible for the first roll-out of COVID-19 vaccine.

We have received clinical advice on how to approach MMR vaccination for this group.

  • We suggest screening those coming in for MMR catch-up vaccine by asking if they are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine as part of Tier 1 roll-out. These people will know who they are (see below).
  • If someone is within four weeks of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, priority should be given to the COVID-19 vaccine over MMR.
  • Please re-book them for their MMR on completion of their COVID-19 vaccines so that the opportunity to protect against measles is not lost.

Eligibility for the first roll-out of COVID-19 vaccine

The people who are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine during the first phase are covered by the current Required Testing Order (2020). This means they’re currently undergoing mandatory testing as a result of their employment and are considered most at risk of exposure to COVID-19. These people know who they are. Their household contacts are also within the first phase and will know that the person they live with is going through mandatory testing – or will be informed by the worker.

There is more information on the Ministry of Health website and the All-of-Government Unite Against COVID-19 website.

Expectations of General Practice

We are asking General Practices to consider recalling everyone in their enrolled population aged 15 to 30 years who have not yet been fully immunised against measles for an MMR vaccine.

When a patient presents for their MMR, we ask you to check their immunisation status and to provide them with any other outstanding vaccinations, in addition to MMR.

All MMR vaccinations administered must be entered into the NIR, via your Patient Management System.

Patients born after 2006 will already be opted onto the NIR.

Most people in the target age group will not know their immunisation status. If there is no recorded dose of MMR on the NIR and they are aged between 15 and 30 years old, then we will advise offering them a MMR dose.

There is no clinical risk of receiving a third MMR (so long as it is four weeks from the last dose) and there is plenty of national stock.

Information from Capital & Coast and Hutt Valley DHBs

There are several different types of Patient Management System. Helpful instructions of how to “opt on” patients into the NIR under each system are provided in the Resources and Information section below.

Ongoing information about vaccine availability will also be provided. We will also keep you informed about national and local messaging around the measles campaign.

Timeframe and messaging

In terms of General Practice, this measles campaign and immunisation work is an extension of business as usual.  General Practices will already being routinely providing scheduled vaccinations and other vaccinations upon request.

National and regional messaging will begin in late September/October 2020 and continue for the duration of the campaign until September 2021.

The messaging will give information about measles, encourage people to be get their MMR and provide information about where they can be vaccinated.  It will also encourage them to become fully immunised.

Pharmacies 

A list of pharmacies that are providing MMR vaccinations can be found here.

If the person is within the 16-30 age bracket and unsure if they have received an MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccine they should be offered an MMR vaccine.

Reporting 

Please ensure you enter all vaccinations on the NIR immediately after vaccinating. 

Please note: Unlike childhood vaccines, adult vaccines will not have any PMS/NIR scheduling options. Therefore, any recalls required for additional vaccines will need to be completed manually.

Outreach immunisation events

Youth One Stop Shops, who are experts in youth engagement, will collaborate to deliver pop up and mobile targeted MMR services at locations where 15-30 year olds gather including; community events, marae, churches, secondary and tertiary education.

MMR stock and ordering 

National stock is not currently an issue with 350,000 MMR vaccines available nationwide. 

Please ensure that you only order what you will use as bulk orders can have impacts on local supply distribution and create delays. This can have significant effects on providers delivering MMR. 

Ordering of vaccine stock is done through the usual processes. 

We need your help to: 

  1. Put measures in place to promote, educate and recall youth 
  2. Ensure you have appropriate stock of MMR for your population – Do not over order. 

Instructions for patient management systems

Resources

Guardians of the Future promotional resources, including translations, can be found here.

More information