Pharmac may have to compete for measles vaccine if newest batch runs out
Pharmac is looking at whether it can order more measles vaccine in case the latest batch runs out before January when
the next lot is due to arrive.
Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly
Auckland's senior medical officer of health William Rainger said the serious outbreak in Auckland was continuing to
rise, with 1108 cases confirmed this year.
About 52,000 doses had arrived in the country and were being quality tested before being distributed to clinics on Thursday,
Dr Grainger said.
Some GP clinics had run out of the measles, mumps, rubella vaccine and the city's district health boards had been moving
doses around to where they were needed most.
The next drop of vaccine was not expected until January and Pharmac would have to compete with other countries for any
additional supplies, he said.
The Auckland Regional Public health service would continue its new, more targeted approach, he said.
"We'll have to monitor vaccine supply and uptake...daily and weekly and use the intelligence that we have, the
information about the disease, to make the best use of it."
The priority was to continue the normal vaccine schedule for under fives, particularly because they were the group most
at risk from the disease.
The second priority will be to use the vaccine in the areas where the disease was most likely to spread to try to stamp
it out, Dr Grainger said.
The rate of spread was about the same as it had been for several weeks but health officials hoped it would soon begin to
level off as the effect of extra vaccination took place.