More than 38 Manawatū students and staff lined up to get their free Measles vaccination at UCOL’s newly-opened Rangimārie Wellness Clinic. The delivery of the vaccination programme is in partnership with MidCentral DHB.
The MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccine is recommended for all New Zealanders, and includes two doses. However, many young adults missed out on one or both of their measles vaccines when they were younger. Within the Manawatū region, there could be up to 12,000 young people who are at risk of catching and spreading measles.
“I’d been meaning to get my Measles vaccination for a while and this just made it easy,” says Shivarn Stewart, the first UCOL staffer to get her jab. “I got a text from my doctors at the start of the year, and we think I might have missed my second dose as a kid. So this is a ‘just in case’ – there’s no risk in getting an extra dose, and if there’s anything the last year has taught us, it’s better to play it safe.”
“Plus a few members of my family are immune compromised – so by doing this, I’m making sure they’re protected too.” Measles is highly contagious – much more than COVID-19. Measles, mumps and rubella are the kind of diseases that are spread quickly from person to person and can cause serious long-term health issues. Thus, initiating herd immunity against such diseases is the best step forward.
Also waiting their turn was Chengwei, who is studying IT Essentials with UCOL. “When I received an email about the vaccination being made available at campus, I immediately signed up for it. It was something that I had to do for my health,” says Chengwei.
This weeks’ session was only one of many - UCOL will be hosting more vaccination clinics with MidCentral in the coming months.
“We were thrilled to open the Rangimārie Wellness Clinic this week, and to kick it off with such an important initiative,” said Dr. Linda Sissons, UCOL’s Chief Executive. “We want to make sure our campuses are supporting learners and staff with health services including immunisation programmes for an added layer of protection. We’re opening Wellness Clinics on each of our campuses, and we’re excited to welcome other community health programmes into our spaces.”
Image courtesy: UCOL