Free measles vaccinations are being given to Ipswich residents, after health authorities confirmed the 10th case of the highly contagious disease.

Doctors in Ipswich say the best way to deal with the outbreak, is for residents to be immunised.

Daniel Winters reports.


Doctors say with 10 cases of measles now confirmed in Ipswich, it’s important for residents to be vaccinated.

Dr Daniel Bitmead, Emergency Director, Ipswich Hospital: “I think the key thing is to keep the immunisation levels up to stop it spreading further.”

To start this process the West Moreton Hospital and Health Service, has opened a free vaccination clinic.

Children in particular need to be protected.

Cr Paul Pisasale, Ipswich Mayor: “It’s important that people realise that immunisation is so important for our young people, so a simple vaccination, that’s free, is not a big price to pay.”

So far the public response has been slow but officials hope their social media presence will help.

And they’re not just relying on social media to get the message across about the importance of vaccinations.

Health authorities say measles is highly contagious and is easily spread by coughing or sneezing.

Symptoms include sneezing, fever and a body rash.

But doctors say vaccination is all that’s needed to avoid that.

Dr Daniel Bitmead, Emergency Director, Ipswich Hospital: “You’re considered to be immune within a few days of having received the vaccine, and if you’ve got two recorded MMR vaccinations you’re considered to be immune.”

Some residents have already got the message.

Jasminne Steele, Ipswich resident: “I work at the bank, so we’re dealing with money floating around, plus I’ve got a few friends who have been in contact with people, so I thought I should protect myself.”

Doctors say the vaccine is the best way to stop of the spread of measles. People born after 1966 are most at risk and are urged to contact their doctor. It’s unlikely they’ve had the two doses needed for full protection.

The Mayor has some simple advice for parents.

Cr Paul Pisasale, Ipswich Mayor: “To all those parents who worry about giving their kids an injection, it might be bad, but not as bad as the possible consequences.”

The clinic will be open from Tuesday to Friday next week.

Daniel Winters, QUT News.