WATCH: Joseph Parker pleads for South Auckland parents to vaccinate their children against measles

Headlines 02/09/2019

Joseph Parker wants south Aucklanders to vaccinate their children against measles.

The outbreak of the highly infectious disease has risen to 804 confirmed cases in Auckland alone. Most of those cases have been diagnosed in Counties Manukau, which has a significant Pacific Island population.

In a video posted to the Counties Manukau Health Facebook page, Parker pleaded for parents to take the outbreak seriously.

"Measles is on the rise in south Auckland, and affecting many families and young people, especially of the Pacific community," he says in the video filmed inside a car.

"Please see your doctor today about getting your free measles vaccine. Even if you're not sure, it's safe to get it again."

The 27-year-old boxer is an ambassador for Middlemore Foundation, a charity dedicated to improving health, homes and education in Counties Manukau. 

The Counties Manukau Health Facebook page has made several posts in the last week encouraging locals to ensure they and their children get the measles vaccine from their doctor. The vaccine is free for everyone between the ages of one and 50.

Auckland Regional Public Health Service spokesperson Dr William Rainger says most of the infected are either children or in their twenties. He urged parents not to be dissuaded by "misinformation" spread by anti-vax campaigners.

"[Measles] is not a trivial illness," he told media on Monday. "It can be fatal. It can leave people with permanent brain injuries and can be prevented by MMR. Those are the scientific facts."

Counties Manukau DHB's Carmel Ellis says more than 300 vaccinations have been carried out in the last few days. The Ministry of Health has assured the DHB there are enough vaccines to go around.

Credit to Newshub.