Porirua’s low uptake
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.