Measles vaccine pop-up visits River Markets  


24 February 2021


Barnaby Smith and Sue Hina at the River Markets stall.

A nationwide measles immunisation campaign reached Whanganui’s River Markets on Saturday, as immunisation coordinators and registered nurses joined forces to raise awareness about the measles vaccine.


Led by Whanganui District Health Board immunisation coordinator Bruce Jones and Whanganui Regional Health Network immunisation coordinator Sue Hina, a group of registered nurses hosted a stall at the riverside market, with information and vaccines available.


Bruce says it was a very smooth operation.


“The team was very well received, with lots of positive feedback from people saying it was good to see us out and so visible.


“Many knew that measles is eight times more contagious than COVID-19 and remembered the measles epidemic of 2019.”


The team were able to offer measles vaccines free on the spot to anyone between the ages of 15-30 and were pleased that 13 people took up the offer.


Market convener and WDHB board member Annette Main said it was the first time that vaccines had been offered on site at the market and saw real possibilities for other types of health initiatives being provided there.


Barnaby Smith, 24, was one person who took up the vaccine offer and received his measles immunisation, saying it was an easy process.


“It really didn’t hurt at, all thanks to Bruce’s expert hand!”


Barnaby Smith and Bruce Jones.

While Bruce and Sue were busy with the clinical side of vaccinating, Sue’s moko, Oceana, 14, and Bruce’s daughter, Solana, 18, were great ambassadors for the campaign, out the front, handing out information pamphlets and providing some key messages about measles to market visitors.


Because of the technology available, if people were unsure if they had already received the vaccine, Bruce and Sue were able to check their status on the national immunisation register.


“An added bonus was people checking if their child’s immunisations were up to date and agreeing to be followed up by the outreach team,” Bruce says.


“While vaccinating for measles, we also found a few people who needed their HPV vaccine and were able to give that as well.”


There are several more measles vaccine pop up stalls coming up over the next four weeks - including at Sound Valley, Pride Week, Marton Harvest Festival, and Family Day and the stall will also make a return to the Whanganui River Markets.