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Free measles vaccines for babies over six months in Auckland

Babies aged over six months will be able to have free measles vaccines in Auckland, in the Government's latest attempt to curb the measles outbreak. 

Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter said 107,520 vaccines would be distributed throughout the country this week, with 155,000 more arriving in the next three months. 

"The reason this outbreak happened was because we didn't have the level of immunity we needed to prevent it," she told media from Auckland's Papatoetoe High School. 

"We're expecting many, many more people to be vaccinated."

It will also be available for babies who are travelling to Auckland from outside the region. 

From the beginning of this year to October 17, 1850 cases of measles have been confirmed, with 1495 of those in Auckland - according to the Ministry of Health. 

Across New Zealand, children under 15 who have not had a single dose of the MMR will be able to be vaccinated.

"This suite of measures is aimed at helping people to catch up with their vaccinations to rebuild the country’s immunity," she said.   

"Children and babies are the most vulnerable and most likely to end up in hospital, which is why we are extending the vaccination campaign to this group."

Pop up clinics would be scattered around Auckland for parents to immunise babies and toddlers. 

Ms Genter expected no child in New Zealand to be turned away from getting vaccinated.

"As part of our commitment to make it as easy as possible for people to get vaccinated, we are also working on ways pharmacists can provide vaccinations."

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Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter made the announcement today. Source: 1 NEWS