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Fresh push to increase measles immunity

A free measles vaccine is available for Tasmanian people born during or after 1966, in response to large outbreaks of the infectious disease around the world.

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Fresh push to increase measles immunity

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TASMANIA has launched a state-funded measles vaccine campaign following large outbreaks of the infectious disease around the world.

The free vaccine is available for people born during or after 1966 without documented evidence of two measles vaccines.

Acting director of public health Scott McKeown said anyone unsure if they have been vaccinated was encouraged to discuss a booster dose with their GP.

“It’s safe to have an extra dose,” he said.

Infants aged six to 12 months travelling internationally are also eligible for a state-funded measles vaccine.

Dr McKeown said people born before 1966 are likely to have been exposed to measles as a child and are generally considered immune.

He said the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine (MMR) was safe and provided effective protection against measles.

Consult your doctor about a measles vaccination. Photo, AFPSource:AFP

The measles vaccine is funded under the National Immunisation Program for children at 12 and 18 months of age, and for people under 20 years as part of a catch-up program.

Dr McKeown said Tasmania consistently recorded high childhood immunisation coverage rates, with recent data showing over 94 per cent of two-year-olds are fully immunised against measles.

“It is very important for anyone planning international travel to get pre-travel advice from their GP and ensure they have received two doses of measles vaccine,” he said.

Large outbreaks of measles have occurred this year in popular travel destinations such as Asia, Europe, the US and the Pacific region.

An Australian team of health professionals to help respond to a significant outbreak there.

Measles is a serious and highly contagious disease spread through the air through coughing or sneezing by someone who has the disease.

Measles symptoms include fever, sore eyes, runny nose and cough followed three or four days later by a red, blotchy rash spreading from the head and neck to the rest of the body.

Originally published asFresh push to increase measles immunity

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