National Health Advisory: NHCC Measles Response Update

18 Sep 2019

Please see below advice from the MOH around measles vaccine supply and key advice for practices.  Unfortunately it’s not great news.  We now know that the whole of the Waikato DHB has been allocated 163 packs of vaccines – that means 1630 vaccines in total for the first wave of distribution.  Following that we will get a fortnightly allocation to cover childhood schedule requirements only (with a few extra thrown in to deal with contact management directed by the Public Health unit).  PHARMAC are trying to confirm another delivery as well as hunt down further stock, but at this point in time, we have been told that the 52000 (for the whole of NZ) will need to last till January 2020.  Of course, I will let you know if I hear anything further as soon as I hear it.

Given this is going to cause further pandemonium /furore/angst and disruption  – there will be national MOH communication coming out to everyone tomorrow morning – so messages and priorities are clear.

Note – allocation of the first 1630 vaccines will be notified on Weds afternoon or Thurs morning.  I have attached the information we have that has been provided by your practices/ PHO contacts to date.  If these figures are no longer correct, please email through update figures to myself or Marinda (copied in) who is covering for David Wilson (logistics) at present.  If we don’t hear from you, we will allocate based on the numbers we have in attachment.

Please also feel free to send names you want added to this email contact list – happy to add, for example, practice manager names if needed for easier and more direct communication.


National Health Advisory
National Health Coordination Centre Measles Response Update

52,000 vaccines arrived in the country yesterday, 16 September, and are being distributed this week. We’ll continue to work closely with DHBs to manage the distribution of stock to your DHB over coming weeks, so we can ensure the additional vaccines are going where they’re needed most. Further stock has been allocated to New Zealand and PHARMAC is confirming delivery details.  PHARMAC is also continuing to actively source more vaccine supplies.

The current measles outbreak has created pressure across the health system, particularly in Auckland, and we thank you for your continuing work to protect the health of New Zealanders.  Over the past two weeks, the Ministry of Health, PHARMAC and DHBs have managed distribution to ensure that MMR vaccine is available to meet priorities. To assist with this process, each DHB has been asked to nominate a single point of contact for stock management. The contact for Waikato DHB is currently Jan Goddard.

We will keep working closely with regional distributors, PHOs and practices to manage the distribution of stock over the coming weeks, to ensure that vaccine stock is going to where it is needed most.

The Ministry reiterates the focus on priority groups (detailed below), to help continue the careful management of vaccine stock. We ask that general practice and PHOs reserve vaccine for these priority groups.

The priority for MMR vaccinations should be:


  •    ensure all children receive their MMR vaccinations on time at 12 months and 4 years to maintain the national Childhood Immunisation Schedule
  •    targeted community outreach managed by the three Auckland DHBs, namely groups who are most affected by the outbreak including 15-29 year olds and Pacific peoples within those groups.

Rest of New Zealand

  •    ensure all children receive their vaccinations on time at 15 months and 4 years to maintain the national Childhood Immunisation Schedule
  •    susceptible close contacts within 72 hours of first exposure to measles when possible.

You can help to ensure that MMR vaccine is used to protect the most vulnerable populations by only vaccinating people from the groups listed above.

Non-priority groups:

For patients booked-in to receive MMR or who are eligible but don’t meet the above priorities, we recommend that general practice include them on a recall list for when vaccine stock is sufficient. It’s very important for all of the population to be protected and we don’t want to lose the opportunity to offer MMR to all who are eligible. When stocks are secure, general practices should be offering two documented doses of MMR vaccine to those who need it at no cost, as per the New Zealand Pharmaceutical Schedule.

Also….message from our communications team…

Please utilise our main page: It has updated confirmed measles cases, information and resources. There is a new section at the top titled ‘Free vaccine drop in clinics’ that links to Te Kōhao Health and Raukura Hauora O Tainui whānau free clinic events we have listed so far. The targets here are Hamilton – Huntly, Ngaruawahia and Hamilton. There will be more coming over time. We also have these as events on our Waikato DHB Facebook page to make for easy sharing.

Thanks everyone.

Kind regards


Operations Manager for Waikato DHB Measles CIMS team.