Adult measles vaccination program campaign

The adult immunisation program offers free measles vaccination to people born after 1965, and who have not already received two doses of a measles-containing vaccine.

The program addresses an important gap in the community’s protection against measles, as people born before 1966 are usually immune to measles due to having the illness as a child and people 19 years and younger are already eligible for free measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine through the National Immunisation Program.

The number of measles cases in WA has been increasing in recent years, with 36 reported in 2018 – the highest figure since 2014 when 44 measles cases were confirmed. Of those 36 infections last year, nearly three-quarters (73%) occurred among people aged 20 to 49 years of age.

Naturally occurring measles has been eliminated from WA for approximately 20 years but occasional cases and small outbreaks still occur – associated with tourists or WA residents who are infected overseas.

Adults born after 1965 are encouraged to check they have had two documented doses of a measles vaccine, especially if they plan to travel overseas. People not sure if they have had two doses of measles vaccine, should see their doctor, immunisation provider or travel health immunisation clinic for the free vaccination.

Key messages
  • Western Australians people born after 1965 who are not fully vaccinated against measles can receive free measles vaccination. *Fully vaccinated refers to having received two doses of the measles-containing vaccine.
  • Measles is a vaccine-preventable disease and getting vaccinated is the best protection.
  • Measles is highly contagious and can have serious complications.
  • There has been a recent increase in measles cases in Western Australia.
  • Pregnant women are particularly at risk of serious complications from measles. Women planning a pregnancy are urged to speak with their doctor about vaccination before they get pregnant.
  • Measles is common in many countries outside Australia so it's important to make sure you are fully vaccinated, particularly if you are travelling overseas.
  • See your GP, immunisation provider or travel health immunisation clinic to get your free measles vaccination.
  • Raise awareness in the target audiences about the adult measles vaccination program.
  • Reduce the incidence of measles in Western Australia.
Target audiences
  • Adults born after 1965 who have not had two doses of a measles-containing vaccine. Particularly people in this age group who are:
    • planning to travel overseas – measles is common in many countries outside of Australia, so it's important for people to get vaccinated before travelling overseas
    • planning to get pregnant – measles can have serious complications for pregnant women and their babies such as miscarriage, early labour and stillbirth. Pregnant women can't have the measles vaccine so to protect themselves and their baby, it is important for women to get vaccinated against measles at least 4 weeks before trying to get pregnant.

The adult measles vaccination campaign launched in March 2019 on metropolitan radio and statewide on digital (including native advertising and social media).

The second burst starts early December across these same channels.

Contact us

The campaign is coordinated by the Immunisation, Surveillance and Disease Control (ISDC) program team in conjunction with the Communications Directorate.

Contact us if you need further information or materials in alternative formats.