Immunization rates hit record high in New Zealand

Recent outbreaks of measles and whooping cough during the New Zealand winter have pushed immunization rates in that country to record highs.

The New Zealand Ministry of Health reported that 91 percent of toddlers have received the proper recommended vaccinations following the serious disease outbreaks that occurred during the colder months, according to

A young parent, Ally Edwards-Lasenby, initially declined the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine for her son Cameron after being told it had links to autism. That research was discredited, but Cameron was never vaccinated. He contracted the measles during the 2011 outbreak and will take another six months to fully recover.

Edwards-Laseby regrets not approaching her decision to forgo vaccination for her son more carefully.

"If you make a decision like I did, it is really important that you go back later and revisit it, because in this case the doctor behind the research had been struck off,” she said, reports.

David Wansbrough, the ministry’s national program manager for immunization, said that the number of parents choosing to not vaccinate has declined rapidly. Three years ago that number was six percent. It is now less than four percent.

"Unfortunately, we are still getting outbreaks of these preventable diseases and that has reminded people how serious these diseases can be," Wansbrough said, according to