Parents urged: check your child’s MMR vaccine records
Parents and carers in the City of London are being asked to check their children's MMR vaccine records following a rise in measles cases across London.
The free measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine is a safe and effective way of protecting against severe forms of the diseases.
The vaccine is offered to children at one year of age and when they reach three years and four months.
It is important to have both doses of the vaccine, and it’s never too late to catch up on missed vaccinations.
There is no cure for measles. Vaccination is the only way to reduce the risk of the disease spreading quickly in the community and causing serious health complications for some children.
Parents and carers are being asked to check if their child has had two doses of the MMR vaccine. If they are not sure, or if they aren’t fully vaccinated, they can contact their GP practice to check and book an appointment.
Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Community and Children’s Services Committee, Ruby Sayed, said:
“Government modelling suggests that, unless MMR vaccination rates improve, London could see a measles outbreak with tens of thousands of cases.
“We are asking all parents and carers to check their children’s vaccination status to ensure they are fully protected.
“Measles can be a very serious infection that can lead to significant health problems. Parents can check in their child’s red book or with their GP practice to see if they have had the two MMR doses.
“Anyone who has not should make an appointment as soon as possible.”
Measles is a contagious disease with symptoms including high fever, sore, red, watery eyes, coughing, aching, and feeling generally unwell and a blotchy red brown rash, which usually appears after the initial symptoms.
Measles can lead to complications such as ear infections, pneumonia and on rare cases can lead to long term disability or death.
Anyone with symptoms that could be measles is advised to stay at home and phone their GP or NHS 111 for advice, rather than visiting the surgery or A&E to avoid spreading it any further.
To find out more about childhood vaccinations, visit the NHS website: nhs.uk/childvaccines