Babies and children can catch diseases at any time. Immunisation is your child’s best protection against many serious but preventable diseases like whooping cough. This disease is still common in New Zealand. It can cause unnecessary suffering for children and can even be fatal.

Free booster immunisations are available for children at 4 years old and 11 years old. These boosters offer protection against whooping cough (pertussis), tetanus and diphtheria. They are just as important as the immunisations they had when they were babies and help to boost their immunity against these three serious diseases.

The 4 year old booster is available from your family doctor. The 11 year old booster is available through an in-school programme in most parts of the country. The public health nurse will visit participating schools and give your child a consent form to bring home for you to read, sign and return to school. In Canterbury and some parts of the South Island these immunisations are delivered through your family doctor.

Immunisation helps to protect your child, your whānau and our community.

At age four your child is also due for their MMR booster. The MMR vaccine protects against measles, mumps and rubella.  Two doses are required for full protection, and the vaccine is provided at age 15 months and 4 years.

While it is always best to immunise on time, every time. If your child has missed out on their boosters, it’s free to catch up until they’re 18.

For more information, visit www.health.govt.nz/immunisation, call 0800 IMMUNE, or speak to your family doctor or nurse.

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This information was compiled by the Kiwi Families team.

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