Porirua’s low up­take

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE -

dren re­ceive measles vac­ci­na­tions, which are free, says He­len Hart­ley, Cap­i­tal & Coast District Health Board’s im­mu­ni­sa­tion clin­i­cal nurse spe­cial­ist.

Chil­dren should re­ceive the measles, mumps and rubella vac­cine (MMR) aged 15 months and again at four years. Af­ter those two vac­ci­na­tions, chil­dren will be pro­tected for life against those dis­eases.

‘‘We’re just re­ally en­cour­ag­ing par­ents to have that im­mu­ni­sa­tion event on time.’’

Porirua’s rate of im­mu­ni­sa­tion is too low, but it could be worse given the prob­lems many fam­i­lies in the city have with ac­cess to health­care, Mrs Hart­ley says.

Fam­i­lies with no tele­phone or car have trou­ble book­ing vac­ci­na­tion ap­point­ments, she says. How­ever, the health board pro­vides an outreach im­mu­ni­sa­tion ser­vice which fam­i­lies can be re­ferred to through their nurse or doc­tor.

‘‘We’re cer­tainly try­ing to ad­dress those ac­cess is­sues.’’

Sim­ply for­get­ting to vac­ci­nate chil­dren is an­other rea­son chil­dren slip through the net, Mrs Hart­ley says.

Ba­bies get vac­ci­nated at six weeks, three months and five months old, and the gap be­fore the MMR vac­cine at 15 months means many fam­i­lies for­get about it.

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