Millions of parents and carers in England are being urged to book their children in for their missed measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine as part of a major new NHS drive to protect children from becoming seriously unwell, as measles cases continue to rise across the country.
The NHS campaign will see all parents of children aged from six to 11 years contacted encouraging them to make an appointment with their child’s GP practice for their missed MMR vaccine.
NHS figures show more than 3.4 million children under the age of 16 years are unprotected and at risk of catching these serious and completely preventable diseases.
One in five children who get the disease have to be admitted to hospital for treatment, however, measles is not just a childhood disease and can be serious at any age. If caught during pregnancy it can cause stillbirth, miscarriage and low birth weight and NHS bosses are urging young adults to catch up on any missed doses before thinking about starting a family.
The NHS campaign will target areas with low uptake of the vaccine, including over one million people aged 11 to 25 years-old in London and the West Midlands, to invite them to catch up on their missed MMR vaccinations.
Farnham GP and Paediatric Doctor, Dr Alexandra Streeter de Diego says, “Measles is a highly infectious preventable disease that can lead to life changing complications. The best way to protect yourself, your children and other vulnerable people from measles is the MMR vaccine. It is a vaccine with a proven longstanding good safety record. You can check your vaccination status in your red book or by contacting your GP practice. Two doses give lifelong protection and it is never too late to catch up.”