You will have seen in the news that there have been serious outbreaks of measles in Wales over the last month. Outbreaks are now occurring widely in England, with teenagers being those most affected. This is because many of them missed out on their MMR vaccinations in the late 1990s and early 2000s when the vaccine was mistakenly linked to cases of autism.
These outbreaks are a serious concern with up to a million children and young teenagers potentially vulnerable to infection, especially as children of this age are going into secondary school where the spread of infection is much more likely to happen.
Although there have not been any recent outbreaks of measles in Portsmouth, the level of MMR vaccination is lower than that needed to protect our local population. It is therefore appropriate to use the opportunity created by the national MMR campaign to improve rates of vaccination in Portsmouth and reduce the risk of an outbreak occurring locally.
Click here to read a leaflet describing the disease and the benefits of the MMR vaccination. It also answers some common questions about measles and the vaccine. We hope it helps you decide to get your child vaccinated against measles (as well as mumps and rubella).
The vaccination is free on the NHS and is available from your GP. Please contact your GP surgery to make an appointment if your child has not had two vaccinations against MMR. If you are unsure whether your child has been vaccinated, please check their parent-held record (red book). If you are still unsure, your GP can advise you.