Travellers born during or since 1966 are strongly recommended to have received 2 doses of measles-containing vaccine. Measles importation after international travel is the most significant source of measles cases in Australia.10-13

People born before 1966 do not need to receive measles-containing vaccine (unless serological evidence indicates that they are not immune). This is because circulating measles virus and disease were prevalent before 1966, so most people would have acquired immunity from natural infection.

However, confirmed cases of measles have occurred in people born before 1966.3 If in doubt about a person’s immunity, it may be faster and easier to vaccinate the person than conduct serological testing. See Serological testing for immunity to measles.

People born during or since 1966 who are travelling overseas are recommended to have either:

  • documented evidence of 2 doses of measles-containing vaccine given at least 4 weeks apart and with both doses given at ≥ 12 months of age, or 
  • serological evidence of immunity to measles, mumps and rubella 

See Serological testing for immunity to measles.

Travellers aged <12 months 

Infants travelling to countries where measles is endemic, or where measles outbreaks are occurring, may receive MMR vaccine from as young as 6 months of age, after an individual risk assessment. 

However, this dose needs to be repeated, meaning that these infants need 2 further doses of measles-containing vaccine. They should receive the next dose of MMR vaccine at 12 months of age or 4 weeks after the 1st dose, whichever is later. They should receive their final dose of measles-containing vaccine as MMRV vaccine at 18 months of age.

Page history

Last updated: 
12 April 2019
Last reviewed: 
12 April 2019

Definitions

MMR
measles-mumps-rubella
MMRV
measles-mumps-rubella-varicella