Measles cases on the rise, is your child protected?

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As measles cases continue to rise across England, the NHS is encouraging parents to make sure their children are fully protected.

This month, millions of parents, carers and young adults in England are being contacted by the NHS to book missed measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccines as part of a major new campaign to protect those at risk from becoming seriously unwell.

NHS figures show millions of children under the age of 16 years are either unprotected or not fully protected and at risk of catching these serious and preventable diseases.

One in five children who get the disease are admitted to hospital for treatment – but measles is not just a childhood disease and can be serious at any age. It can also be very serious if caught during pregnancy so having the MMR vaccine is the best way to prevent it.

The vaccine is safe and effective – and it also gives protection against mumps and rubella – so it’s really important young children have both doses for maximum life-long protection. The doses are given around a child’s first birthday and then again at 3 years and 4 months, as part of the national NHS childhood immunisation programme. However, anyone can catch up at any age on any missed doses and it’s never too late to protect yourself.

If, as a parent, you have received a reminder, or if you are not sure if your children have received the MMR vaccine, we would encourage you to check your child’s health records in their ‘Red Book’. If you are still not sure, you can contact the practice and if your child isn’t up-to-date with their vaccinations, you can get them booked in.

For more information about measles and the MMR vaccine see the Healthy Surrey website or see the website.