London,
15
February
2024
|
14:31
Europe/London

Parents urged to vaccinate their children against measles to halt a rising number of cases

Parents and carers in the City of London are being asked to check their children's MMR records as London vaccination levels fall 11 per cent behind those for England.

 The free measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine is a safe and effective way of protecting against severe forms of the diseases which can result in serious hospitalisation in up to 40 per cent of cases.

 Two doses of the MMR give lifelong protection for 99% of people vaccinated.

 The vaccine is offered to children at one year of age and when they reach three years and four months and it is important to have both doses of the vaccine and on time.

 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.

 If you are unsure about your child’s vaccination status, you can contact your 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:

 “Only 74 per cent of five-year-olds in London have had both doses of the MMR vaccine compared to 85 per cent for the rest of England.

 “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 virus illness. Initial symptoms include high fever, sore, red, watery eyes, coughing, aching, and feeling generally unwell. A blotchy red brown rash typically appears a few days later.

 Measles can lead to complications such as ear infections, pneumonia and on rare cases can lead to long term disability or death. Those most at risk are babies under one year old, pregnant women and those with a weakened immune system.

 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. For more information visit: Measles - NHS (www.nhs.uk) and MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine - NHS (www.nhs.uk).