Low immunisation rate raises mumps risk
|06 Sep 2017 08:00 AM|
Low immunisation rates could put many Maori in south Auckland at risk of catching mumps and other diseases.
Auckland Regional Public Health Service says since January 1 it has been notified of cases of mumps - greater than the total over the past 16 years.
Medical Officer of Health Dr Josephine Herman says this highlights the importance of all children getting the MMR vaccine covering measles, mumps and rubella.
She says there is a lost generation of teenagers and young people at risk either because they missed out on getting vaccinated because of the now discredited MMR controversy from 1998 onward, or because they didn't get the necessary dose when the timing of this dose was moved from 11 years to 4 years in 2001.
According to a national coverage survey, only 42 percent of Maori children and 45 percent of Pacific children were fully immunised in 1991.
Dr Herman says the implications for young adults are deeply concerning, given the risk of non-immune pregnant women catching rubella which can result in miscarriage or still birth and babies developing severe birth defects.
Mumps also poses a risk of miscarriage for women who are in their first three months of pregnancy, and in rare cases can cause male sterility.