Latest update for Measles from the DHB

17 Sep 2019

Information regarding the approach and challenges Waikato DHBs is facing in response to the measles outbreak.

We have provided the following information regarding where we currently situation,

Waikato DHB is working with the Ministry of Health to improve the supply of vaccine to you.  

To manage the demand on your limited stock we recommend prioritising the following groups to receive MMR:

  1. On time immunisation at 12-15months and again at 4 years of age. Highest priority within this category are Māori and Pacific.
  2. Catch up immunisation for children on the NIR (so 14 years or under) with no doses of MMR recorded. Highest priority within this category is Māori and Pacific.
  3. MMR for contacts of confirmed cases where they have correspondence from public health that show they should have first or second MMR.

When we have secured further supply of vaccine (in excess of the above), we will be making a decision around a Waikato DHB regional MMR catch up programme.

If this decision is made the priority will also include:

  1. First dose of MMR for Māori and Pacific aged 14-37 with no documented MMR or measles immunity.
  2. First dose of MMR for Māori and Pacific aged 38-50 with no documented MMR or measles immunity.
  3. Second dose for all people who had first as part of 4-6 above. This could be in 2020 depending on supply, everyone having a first dose should have details recorded and be contacted to arrange second dose in due course.

At this stage we have only secured a small supply, which based on each of your organisations feedback on the stock levels in each practice, has been directed to practices that were running low or in some cases had run out of vaccines. We have asked the practices to prioritise as advised in our communication (noted above). We have also targeted vaccine to areas where there is a known measles cases.

I want to offer you my personal assurances that we are doing everything in our power to work with the MOH to secure vaccine supply in order to begin a wider mass immunisation campaign. This has included working with the other DHBs to directly communicating with the MOH and establishing a local CIMS response.

I want to personally thank you and your teams for their support. I understand that many of your staff and practices are at the front line of this campaign and on an hourly basis respond to questions from the public and at times distressed and worried whanau.

The one thing that I ask of you all is to ensure that we are consistent with our communication, based on the advice we are providing you. I will do everything I can to ensure that as more information comes to hand we will update you.

As our response ramps up, it will include, in addition to our front line general practice services, a range of pop up immunisation clinics in community settings such as marae and churches. All of which is subject securing a supply of vaccines.

 

Ngaa mihi,

Philip Grady

Interim Executive Director Strategy, Funding and Public Health

Strategy and Funding

Waikato District Health Board