Back to School – Be Safe and Protect Your Child from MMR
WITH Reading schoolchildren now back in the classroom following the summer break, Reading Borough Council, GPs and Clinical Commissioning Groups are urging parents to make sure their children have had the full MMR vaccination.
Reading residents can get children vaccinated at their GP surgery, but should make phone contact with their GP before going into a surgery in person.
Usually children are offered the MMR vaccine in two doses - the first is given when they are around a year old, with the second at three years of age. However, if your child has missed a dose, it is never too late to catch up.
Graeme Hoskin, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Member for Health, said:
“Measles is a highly infectious viral illness, which can, in some cases, lead to serious complications, including blindness and even death. Thankfully it's preventable through the MMR vaccine. Unfortunately far too many children and young people in Reading are still not protected. We've seen Measles epidemics in other parts of Britain, we don't want an outbreak in our town so I urge any parents who are unsure if their children are protected to contact their GP.
"Parents of unvaccinated children, teenagers or young people should seek at least one dose of MMR vaccination which will give them 95 per cent protection against measles. A second dose is then needed to provide almost complete protection.”
Dr Lise Llewellyn, Strategic Director of Public Health, said:
"As our children are starting a new school term, it is imperative that parents check whether their children have had two doses of MMR, which will protect them against measles, mumps and rubella".
NHS South Reading CCG Chair, Dr Elizabeth Johnston, added:
“It is never too late to get vaccinated against measles. We urge parents of unvaccinated children and teenagers who missed out on the MMR jab, to arrange appointments with their GP practices. It’s paramount that children have two doses of the MMR vaccine. If you are unsure whether your child has had two doses, speak to your GP who will have a record.”
In the first half of 2013, 27 cases of measles were confirmed in South East England alone, with 1,247 nationally