Wellington Scoop

Wgtn High School asks unvaccinated pupils to stay away

Report from RNZ
One of Wellington’s biggest schools is asking year 12 students to stay away if they have not been vaccinated against measles.

Wellington High School has sent an urgent message to parents saying one person has been diagnosed with the disease. The warning relates to staff or students who were in five specific classes last Monday – including biology, chemistry and psychology. Those people should only go to school if they can confirm they have been vaccinated or have already had measles.

There have been 24 confirmed cases of measles in Wellington so far this year.

Medical Officer of Health Dr Annette Nesdale told Morning Report officials were keeping on top of the spread of the virus in Wellington.

“Each time we get a measles case we look to see ‘has it come from a local spread in Wellington or has it come from overseas or Auckland’. In this case it’s clearly come from Auckland.

“We don’t have community spread in Wellington and we want to keep it that way for as long as possible.”

Dr Nesdale said immunity rates in Wellington were good, but not optimal.

“We have good levels of immunisation, but you need excellent levels … you need, really, 95 percent of the whole community protected to stop spread.

“With isolated cases we can get on top of the spread.”

She said parents who were unsure whether their children were immunised should contact their medical centre.


  1. Mathew Biars, 23. September 2019, 14:03

    Why are the parents of fully vaccinated kids afraid of them catching measles from un-vaccinated ?
    Best common sense rule is to not go to school if you are feeling sick.

  2. Dave B, 23. September 2019, 21:13

    @ Matthew Biars. I’s all about the “herd immunity”. The more people are un-vaccinated, the more rampantly the disease can spread among the un-vaccinated.

    Of course back in the day when I was at school, all children were encouraged to get measles because this developed immunity in the absence of vaccines. The important thing was to get immunity before reaching adulthood, because catching the disease as an adult was apparently far more serious. That was the logic in the 1960s and it seemed to serve most of the population well-enough at the time.

  3. Mathew Biars, 24. September 2019, 8:24

    Dave yes you are right – kids were invited to measles partys back in the day when measles was known as a harmless childhood disease. Why are vaccinated parents afraid their vaccinated kids will catch measles from non vaccinated kids? Why just ban un-vaccinated in year 12, why not ban year 10 and 11 kids from school as well?
    We have never had “herd immunity” from vaccines. As you say herd immunity was seen naturally following the outbreaks (before vaccines) from people being exposed to it as a childhood disease.

  4. greenwelly, 24. September 2019, 10:04

    “That was the logic in the 1960s and it seemed to serve most of the population well-enough at the time.” That was simply because there was no measles vaccine available, (It was only introduced to NZ in 1969/70). The problem with measles is that you can spread it before you become symptomatic, meaning if it in the community and you are vulnerable to it, (i.e un-immunised) you can spread it..

    People will say “why should fully vaccinated kids care if they are immunised” and the answer it most/all should not. But there are populations in the community that are either not able to be vaccinated due to being too young, or immunocompromised.. having measles around means these people are in danger of catching it on a bus, at a library etc,

    Measles is highly contagious so having those who can spread it stay home is a good way to slow its spread…
    (getting everyone who can be immunised is an even better one)

  5. Fierce Mama, 24. September 2019, 14:37

    As a mother of a Wellington High School student, who is fully vaccinated, I support the school on this call absolutely. They said vaccinated students could attend classes not unvaccinated ones, since obviously the unvaccinated students are more likely to have caught this virulent and possibly deadly disease from the infected student. Students who are immunocompromised are especially at risk, since they are unlikely to be vaccinated. This is all just common freaking sense.

    Honestly, I think not vaccinating healthy children who can be vaccinated (according to medical professionals) is child abuse. It is negligent. And while your child might happily survive the measles with no brain damage or other ill effects, you might just kill someone else’s precious child who is already struggling with a compromised immune system.

  6. Mathew Biars, 25. September 2019, 7:57

    This banning of un vaccinated year 12 kids makes no sense. Why just year 12 kids, why not year 10 and 11 kids?
    Why should fully vaccinated kids’ parents care, if they are immunized?
    And Immunocompromised kids are at risk from complications of all harmless diseases, chicken pox, cold and flu. Maybe they should be the ones banned from school.

  7. Madeleine Simpson, 26. September 2019, 8:29

    You are absolutely right Mathew.