Sefton Council urges vaccination after national incident declared due to numerous measles outbreaks
4 weeks ago
Over 200 cases of measles have been confirmed in Birmingham and the West Midlands in recent months.
Following the declaration of a national incident in response to a number of measles outbreaks, Sefton Council is urging parents and guardians to ensure that children are up to date with their vaccinations.
A senior UK health official has warned the disease is likely to spread rapidly across more parts of the country unless more people take up the vaccine.
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has launched a new national campaign to encourage take up of the MMR vaccine.
Measles is a highly infectious disease and is particularly easy to catch when in close contact with others. It can lead to serious problems such as pneumonia, meningitis, blindness, encephalitis and convulsions and on rare occasions, long-term disability or death.
A high fever, sore red watery eyes and a blotchy red-brown rash are among the symptoms of measles.
The measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine provides protection from measles infection. Children are offered the first dose of the MMR vaccine when aged one year and the second dose aged around 3 years 4 months, before they start school. But you can protect yourself by getting the MMR vaccine for free from the NHS whatever your age.
Margaret Jones, Sefton Council’s Director of Public Health said:
“Measles is easy to catch and therefore spreads quickly although it is easy to prevent too with a simple MMR vaccination.
“And the good news is it’s never too late to have one, even if you missed it as a child.”
Parents and guardians can find out whether their child is up to date with their vaccinations by checking their personal child health record (PCHR), also known as the red book, or contacting their GP.
Mrs Jones continued:
“I know some people have expressed concerns that the MMR contains pork ingredients which are used to ensure it remains safe and effective during storage. However, there are a number of pork-free alternatives available.
“If anyone has missed one or both doses of the MMR vaccine, they should contact their GP practice to book an appointment and also state if they have concerns about the vaccine used.
“Anyone who thinks they may have measles should stay at home and contact NHS 111 for advice, to help avoid spreading infections.”