Adult measles vaccine program

An adult measles vaccination program is now available for Western Australians born during or after 1966 who have not already received two doses of a measles-containing vaccine.

Program FAQs

Why was the program introduced?

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 the 36 infections, nearly three-quarters (73%) occurred among people aged 20 to 49 years of age.

Why is the vaccine available to those born after 1966?

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

Who should receive the vaccine?

All individuals born during or after 1966 who have not already received two documented doses of a measles vaccine.

Naturally occurring measles has been eliminated from WA for approximately 20 years but occasional cases and small outbreaks still occur – usually associated with tourists or WA residents who are infected overseas. Adults born during or after 1966 are asked to check that they have had two documented doses of a measles vaccine at some stage in their life, especially if they plan to travel overseas.

What if my patient is not sure about their vaccination history?

Serology is not recommended for people who are not sure if they have had two doses of measles vaccine. Instead, it is recommended that they receive 2 doses of MMR vaccine, at least a month apart.

This is a live vaccine, so please adhere to the principles of administering a live vaccine e.g. do not administer to certain groups, such as those with lowered immunity, due to immunocompromising conditions, or current treatment, or pregnant women. See table from the Australian Immunisation Handbook (external site).

Where do I record that I have administered the vaccine?

All vaccinations, including for this program, should be recorded on your clinic records and also on the Australian Immunisation Register.

Where can individuals receive this vaccine?

Eligible adults can receive this vaccine from their GP, AMS, travel clinic or community health immunisation clinics.

What are the costs involved?

The vaccine is provided for free through a state government program.

Where can I order the vaccine?

The vaccine is available to order through the WA government funded vaccines online ordering website (external site).