Measles Vaccines For All Children


On Monday, an Auckland clinic refused to give a measles vaccine to a toddler even though the family was willing to pay money, because he had a Samoan passport.  The staff of the clinic said they were not allowed to vaccinate the baby because he was not a New Zealand citizen.

Since then, the Ministry of Health has made an announcement telling New Zealand clinics not to turn away any children in need of a measles vaccination, regardless of whether they are New Zealand citizens. 

There has been a shortage of vaccines in New Zealand, and doctors have been asked to reserve vaccines for priority groups. The priority groups are children and New Zealanders travelling around the Pacific Islands, where there is currently a problem with a measles epidemic.



toddler: a baby that is old enough to walk but still wears nappies

measles: a disease that is currently a big problem in the Pacific Islands, including New Zealand

turn away: refuse

reserve: keep

priority: a higher ranking in terms of importance