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MMR vaccine to be provided to temporary migrant workers from the Pacific Friday, 20 December 2019

All migrant workers from the Pacific who are in New Zealand on temporary work visas will be offered the MMR vaccine to prevent the spread of measles

Access to MMR Vaccine

The Ministry of Health (MoH) has made changes that will allow all temporary migrant workers from the Pacific free access to the MMR vaccine while they are in New Zealand. Previously they were not eligible to access vaccinations because they were classified as non-residents.

Workers who are not already immune to measles should be given one dose of MMR vaccine while they are in New Zealand. Vaccination will prevent RSE workers from taking this potentially fatal illness back to their home countries, as well as reducing the risk of further spread of measles within New Zealand.

How to access the vaccine

The vaccine can be accessed from the usual medical centres used by Pacific temporary migrant workers. The vaccine will be provided free of charge, but the cost of administering vaccinations will be user-pays. This cost will vary by provider.

How employers can help

We are asking employers to keep a record of their workers who are vaccinated. Knowing a worker’s immune status means that if a case of measles does occur, health authorities can move quickly to prevent any further spread of the disease.

If an employer suspects that one of their workers has measles, they should get in touch with local public health officials immediately for further advice.

More information about the measles outbreak

The Ministry of Health has the latest information on the health response to the measles outbreak.

2019 measles outbreak information | MoH

Health screening for RSE workers before they leave Samoa

Advice this week from Samoa’s Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour (MCIL) and New Zealand’s Ministry of Health (MoH), is that medical screening of Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) visa applicants is resuming. This had been on hold while Samoan health authorities dealt with the measles outbreak and had been anticipated to cause delays in visa processing for RSE workers.

MCIL and MoH have confirmed medical screening should be back to normal operations and that RSE visa applicants can undergo required chest x-rays.

Samoa has extended its state of emergency through to 29 December 2019. However, health services will remain under pressure well beyond this date. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as needed.

We are encouraging employers to work with Samoan health services to manage demands on health services over the coming months. Where possible, encourage workers to complete immigration health screening as early as possible. Medicals are valid for immigration purposes as long as they are completed within the 3 months before a visa application is submitted.