More than 800 babies in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire were left vulnerable to catching measles after NHS figures revealed they were not vaccinated against the disease.
The latest official statistics show that the uptake for the vaccination in the area is 92.4% meaning 9,748 children were vaccinated in 2018/19. Although the uptake is higher than the national average of 91.3%, it still left 802 children who did not receive the MMR vaccine.
The MMR is a safe and effective combined vaccine that protects against three separate illnesses – measles, mumps and rubella (German measles) in a single injection. The full course of MMR requires two doses.
Clinical Lead for Prescribing at Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, Dr Shaba Nabi, said:
I urge all parents to make sure their children receive the MMR vaccination which is a safe way to ensure they have immunity again measles, mumps and rubella. If you think your child missed having the vaccination then speak to your GP about getting them protected.
Measles, mumps and rubella are highly infectious conditions that can have serious, potentially fatal complication including meningitis, swelling of the brain and deafness. They can also lead to complications in pregnancy that affect the unborn baby and can lead to miscarriage.
The MMR vaccine is given on the NHS as a single injection to babies as part of their routine vaccination schedule usually within a month of their first birthday. They’ll then have a second injection of the vaccine before starting school, usually at three year and four months.
The MMR can also be given to adults who may not have received it as a child so if in doubt speak to your GP.
Since the MMR vaccine was introduced in 1988, it’s rare for children in the UK to develop these serious conditions. But outbreaks happen and there have been cases of measles in recent years, so it’s important to make that children are up-to-date with the MMR vaccination.