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Making sure your child’s MMR vaccination is up to date

Date: 24/05/2022 | Category: CCG News

Health bosses across Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes are encouraging parents to make sure their child is up to date with their vaccinations.  It comes as a new national campaign launches to help drive the uptake of MMR (Measles, Mumps & Rubella) vaccines amongst children. 

The campaign encourages parents and guardians of children aged 1 to 5 years to check that they are up to date with their MMR vaccines and has been launched by the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) supported by the NHS and UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).

Uptake of most routine childhood vaccinations has been declining over the past five to ten years.  It is extremely important that all babies and children receive their routine vaccinations at the right time in order to give them the best start in life.

Diseases like smallpox and polio have been eradicated in the UK thanks to vaccines.

The MMR vaccine protects against three infections: measles, mumps and rubella.  One in 10 children under the age of 5 in England haven’t had one or both of their MMR vaccines which means that measles importations could lead to outbreaks.

Measles can infect around 9 out of 10 non-immune (those who are unvaccinated or have not previously been infected with the measles virus) people exposed to it and can lead to serious complications.  The MMR vaccine is the safest and most effective way for parents and guardians to protect their children against measles, mumps and rubella.

Now, parents and guardians are being encouraged to ensure their children are vaccinated against MMR, and if they can’t remember if their child is up to date to check his or her Red Book (personal child health record).

All children are invited for their first MMR vaccine when they are one-year-old and for their second dose when they are three years and four months old.

Dr Floriana Ellis is a local GP from NHS Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group (BLMK CCG) said: “The MMR vaccine is a safe and effective combined vaccine that protects against measles, mumps and rubella – all of which can be very serious diseases and are highly infectious.

“Your child will have the MMR vaccine in two doses, the first usually between 12 and 13 months, and then the second at 3 years 4 months.  Although normally given at these times, if it’s missed, it can be given at any age.  Young people who haven’t had two doses of the MMR vaccine as a child should contact their GP about getting their free vaccine.

“Finally, I would add that we all know that it is much easier to prevent all these infections by having the vaccines than treating these very serious infections.”

Dr Sanhita Chakrabarti Clinical Lead at BLMK CCG added: “Even a slight decrease in these vaccinations is something we take very seriously.  We know the diseases that these vaccines prevent have not gone away.  These diseases pose a serious threat to children, if children remain unvaccinated then these deadly diseases have an opportunity to re-emerge.  The MMR jab is a proven and safe vaccine to give your child.  If you’re at all worried about the MMR jab I would encourage you to seek advice from your Health Visitor or GP.”

Parents or guardians of children who are not up to date with their two doses of MMR vaccine should contact their GP practice to book an appointment.  It’s never too late to catch up.

Protect your child with both MMR vaccines.  Contact your GP practice to book their first or second dose.

Find out more at nhs.uk/MMR