Updates from the Practice Team

Measles Update

Sep 10 2019

There have been over 1100 confirmed cases in New Zealand this year, with the majority of cases occurring in the last month.  Most cases have occurred in Auckland, with only 21 confirmed cases in the Wellington region.

If you think you have measles or have been in contact with a confirmed case of measles, please call us first before coming in. 

If you are enrolled at our practice and not immunised, please make an appointment to come in for the MMR immunisation.  Please do not walk in for measles immunisation (MMR) without an appointment.  

Infants can get their first MMR vaccination at 15 months, with the second dose at 4 years.  When you immunise your child, you're also protecting the people around them, including those who can’t be immunised themselves.

People aged 50 years and over are considered immune as measles used to be very common so they most likely developed natural immunity during their childhoods before the vaccine was developed.

For those under 50, they have usually been immunised depending on which country they grew up in. Measles vaccines were introduced in NZ in 1969, in the UK in 1968, in South Africa in 1975, USA in 1968, Canada in 1970, in Australia in 1969, Ireland in 1985, China in 1963. Korea in 1965, Hong Kong in 1967, Singapore 1976, Fiji 1982, India 1985.

One dose of the vaccine protects 95 people out of a 100 ie 95%. A second dose gives protection to another 3-4 people out of 100.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why is there an outbreak?

There are a few reasons:

  • Measles is a highly infectious disease, one of the most infectious known. It is estimated that each person with measles will infect 15 others who are not immunised.
  • If someone gets measles, they are infectious 5 days before they even realise it is measles. The first 5 days it looks like an ordinary bad case of flu. The rash only comes out after day 5. So they can infect many people during this period
  • Those they infect only get sick 10 to 14 days later, so there is a lag where many cases develop unseen and in turn each person will infect others before they develop a rash.
  • A country needs 95% coverage to stop measles from spreading. This is called “herd immunity”. In some areas of New Zealand only 60% of people are immunised.
  • There are several reasons why the immunisation rate is so low in some areas such as access issues (time off work, transport), poverty, inequities, health literacy, and fear of side effects of vaccines
  • There is a prominent internet presence of those who believe vaccines are dangerous, fueled by information that is scientifically incorrect.
  • Immunisation rates have dropped in many other countries, primarily because of the anti-vaccine movement, and visitors from overseas can arrive by plane carrying the virus.
  • Those under 40 or 50 years old mostly grew up in a world where measles was very rare (post vaccinations) and have had no experience of the devastating effects of infection.

Can my baby have their MMR at 6 months?

Ministry is not recommending routine measles vaccines at 6-12 months unless your baby has been exposed to an active case of measles during the infectious period (5 days before the rash came out and 5 days afterwards)or will be traveling to a country with an active outbreak. This is because the MMR is only about 75% effective at 6 months of age, and we will need to give a total of three jabs if the first one is given at less than 12 months.


Is the measles vaccine (MMR) free?

Measles vaccine (MMR) immunisations are funded for NZ residents and those eligible for funded medical treatments.


I/my child have been told I have been in contact with an active case of measles during their infectious period (5 days before the rash came out, and 5 days afterwards)

If you are NOT immunized:

You need to enter into quarantine from 7 days after the first day you were in contact with the case, and stay in quarantine for 14 days after your last contact with the infected person ie a full two weeks. After your quarantine period is over and you remain well, please book in for an immunisation.

IF YOUR CHILD THAT HAS HAD A MEASLES CONTACT DURING THE INFECTIOUS PERIOD IS LESS THAN ONE YEAR OLD OR IS IMMUNOCOMPROMISED (have a weak immune system eg have cancer, on immunosupressant treatment such as chemotherapy, oral steroids etc) PLEASE CALL US FOR ADVICE.

If you ARE immunized:

You are safe, you cannot spread the illness to others, and do not need to enter into quarantine.


My doctor has said I may have measles. What do I do?

Unfortunately there is no specific treatment for measles. Here is some more information about this illness. Things that can help are bed rest in a quiet dark room, paracetamol or ibuprofen for pain/fever, drinking lots of fluids, wiping the eyes gently with wet cotton wool or a soft facecloth. If you have concerns about these symptoms please call us, do not break quarantine:

·         trouble breathing

·         stiff neck

·         feeling drowsy or you cannot wake them up

·         coughing up green or yellow thick mucous

·         back pain

·         sore ears

·         having a fit (seizure)

·         not passing urine for 10 hours.


How dangerous is measles?

Thankfully nobody has died yet during this outbreak. Measles has a mortality rate of 1-2/1000 people infected. 1/10 people infected will need hospital admission for complications such as pneumonia and encephalitis. Babies and small children with lowered immunity have a 50% mortality from measles. In the 1991 outbreak of measles in NZ, there were around 7000 cases of measles and 7 deaths.


I have heard that the measles vaccine (MMR) causes autism

Years ago there was a paper published claiming the MMR caused autism, which has since been found to be untrue and withdrawn, and the author Dr Wakefield was found guilty of ethical, medical, and scientific misconduct and his medical license was cancelled. Additional studies showed that the data presented were fraudulent. There is no evidence that this vaccine causes autism


I have heard that the measles vaccine (MMR) contains mercury

The MMR does not contain mercury.


I am pregnant/trying to get pregnant. Can I have the measles vaccine (MMR)?

Unfortunately it is not safe to have this vaccine whilst you are pregnant, or if you are not using contraception and may be pregnant. This is because the vaccine is a weakened live virus and will pass to the fetus and may cause harm. We recommend that you use contraception for a month and have a negative pregnancy test before we give you this vaccine. In addition, we recommend that you do not fall pregnant for one month after this vaccine is given.


I am on immunosupressant medication. Can I have the vaccine?

No this virus is a weakened live virus and may harm you if you are on any of these medications.


Flu Vaccine Shortages

Jun 11 2019

Due to a nationwide shortage we are completely out of flu vaccinations.  There has been increased national demand in patients wanting the flu vaccine this year, so the annual supply has been used.  

There has not been any confirmation from the Ministry of Health or Pharmac that there will be more stock made available this year.

We will update this website if we receive more vaccines.


Travel Medicals now available

May 14 2019

We now offer travel medicals to patients travelling overseas.  At the consultation we will provide advice and information on how to remain healthy whilst you are away, as well as providing any relevant vaccinations or preventative medications for your trip.

We recommend you have this 30 minute appointment organised several weeks before you travel.  The cost is $80, plus the cost for any relevant vaccinations.

A travel questionnaire needs to be completed and returned to us at least two days before your appointment.   For a copy of the questionnaire pop in or email reception@paraparaumumedical.nz

Flu vaccines are available now!

Apr 04 2019

We will be running flu clinics on the following dates: Tuesday 16 April, Thursday 18 April, Friday 26th April, Tuesday 30th April, Wednesday 1st May, Friday 3rd May and Tuesday 7th May. Please phone reception to book in to one of the flu clinics, if these days don't suit then we are happy to fit you in on a day that suits.

The flu vaccine is $35, and free for over 65s and pregnant woman.

We are also providing Zostavax, a vaccination against shingles.  If you are aged between 65-80 years, this is fully funded.  If you wish to have this vaccine at the same time you have your flu shot, please let reception know when booking an appointment.

Manage My Health

May 31 2018

Don't forget to enroll for our online portal - Manage My Health.  This allows the user to make appointments, request prescriptions or email their doctor.  Please inquire at the practice if you would like to have access to this facility.


May 16 2018

We are now accepting new patients.  You are welcome to enrol with one of our new doctors, Dr Alex Lyudin or Dr Nicki Pointing.  Please phone the practice to make a time to come in and our friendly admin team will assist you to complete your application.

Comings & Goings

Apr 27 2018

It is with sadness that we are saying farewell Dr Scott Walker.  Scott is taking some time to pursue other interests.  Scott has been an integral part of Paraparaumu Medical and his contribution, dedication and wonderful sense of humour will be missed.  We are fortunate to be welcoming two new doctors to the practice.  Dr Nicki Pointing and Dr Alex Lyudin will be joining us in May.  

Nicki and Alex are a husband and wife team who met while at University of Otago many years ago!
Both Nicki and Alex completed their clinical training in Dunedin hospital.
Alex enjoys a wide area of medicine and has a special interest in skin surgeries/minor procedures. He has completed a diploma in dermatoscopy (examination of skin lesions). Alex also has post graduate diplomas in Paediatric medicine and women’s health.
Alex has worked as a GP in Dunedin, central wellington and Lower Hutt. He has also enjoyed working in more rural settings in Southland and Central Otago, including obstetric cover there.
Nicki enjoys all aspects of family medicine. She has a special interest in women’s health and mental health. She is currently completing a post graduate diploma in child and adolescent mental health and is also part of the ADHD special interest group.
Nicki has worked at practices in Wellington and Johnsonville.
Nicki and Alex have two children. They enjoy spending their weekends with family and enjoy walking. They are looking forward to exploring all the walking tracks that the Kapiti coast has to offer.

Antibiotic Resistance - We Need Your Help

Mar 14 2018

Antibiotic Resistance

Paraparaumu Medical Centre is asking you to work with us to stop the spread of resistance.

·         The risks of antibiotic resistance spreading further are enormous.

·         The world is on the brink of entering an era when we will have few, if any, useful antibiotics.

·         This means infections we have been able to treat will become more severe and even life-threatening .

What we are doing

·         We will give an antibiotic prescription only if your infection is bacterial.

·         We may or may not give an antibiotic prescription for those bacterial infections that generally last only a few days  (called self- limiting) - this will depend on other factors.

·         Antibiotics are not effective against viruses including colds and flu.

·         Some sore throats are viral – others are bacterial, and in some populations carry serious risks. We can help in distinguishing what type of infection you have and what treatment you need.

·         In some cases you will be told to give us a call if the infection worsens.

·         In other situations you may be given an antibiotic prescription “for your back-pocket”.  In these cases you will also be advised when it will be appropriate to take it to your pharmacy. Please do not take it to the pharmacy unless those conditions are met.


·         Will only be made for people who have serious underlying conditions who risk getting secondary infections and requiring hospitalisation, and those in whom their immune system is compromised.

What you can do?

·         If you are given an antibiotic – take it as instructed.

·         Do not share it with other people.

·         Do not take other people’s antibiotics.

Avoiding infections can help reduce antibiotic resistance.

You can read much more on this subject in the excellent material provided by the Health Navigator website.  This website provides trustworthy, good quality, and reliable health information on most health topics for New Zealanders. It also translates some of its information into other languages – Maori, Pacific, and many of the languages that refugees to NZ speak.

It has an extensive section on Antibiotic resistance including interesting videos and information from the World Health Organisation (WHO).


Copyright : Compass Health 2019