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Get a measles vaccination before you travel

Published 23rd April, 2019 in Health

Australians travelling overseas should consult their doctor, at least two weeks before they leave home, to ensure they are vaccinated against measles.

Doctor at vaccination clinic assuring a patient in her 40s

Anyone who is not sure whether they have received two doses of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, should consult their doctor.

Measles is a serious, highly contagious, viral illness that is easily spread through the air when an infectious person coughs, sneezes or breathes.

People who are not fully vaccinated, or have never been vaccinated, are at risk of contracting measles and exposing others to serious illness.

The MMR vaccine is free for Australians born after 1965, and two doses provides lifelong protection against the disease.

People born between 1966 and 1994 who may not have received two doses of the MMR vaccine, should consult their doctor. It is safe to receive more than two doses.

As the two-step measles vaccination program was introduced in Australia in 1992, people born in Australia after 1994 are likely to have been fully vaccinated through National Immunisation Program and can check their vaccination status using the Australian Immunisation Register.

Children born in Australia now receive the measles vaccine at 12 months old and the second dose at 18 months. If you plan to travel overseas with a baby under 12 months old, consult your doctor.

Older people born in Australia before 1966 were most likely exposed to measles as a child and are generally considered to be immune. If in doubt, ask your doctor. Likewise, people who have had measles infection in the past are also immune to measles.

Learn more about measles

Find travel advice on the Australian Government's Smart Traveller website

Published 23rd April, 2019 in Health
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