21/12/2023 - Permalink

Families encouraged to take up MMR vaccine after increase in measles cases in the West Midlands

Related topics: Health

Families across Shropshire are being urged to take up the MMR vaccine following an increase in measles cases in the West Midlands

Measles is a very infectious viral disease which means it can spread quickly among communities, such as schools and nurseries if people have not had two dose the MMR vaccine.

Measles are you protected

Measles are you protected

However, measles does not just affect young children – anyone who has missed their MMR vaccination can get measles.

Rachel Robinson, Director of public health at Shropshire Council said:

“With an increase in cases of measles being seen across the West Midlands, we want to raise awareness and urge those who have not yet had their MMR vaccine to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

“Whist there hasn’t been any cases of measles in Shropshire since 1 October 2023, as this is a very infectious disease, we want to ensure our communities take the necessary precautions and take up their MMR vaccine.

“While most people recover completely within a couple of weeks, measles can cause very serious illness – sometimes leading to permanent disability and in rare cases, death. Also, people in certain at-risk groups, including babies and small children, pregnant women, and people with weakened immunity are at increased risk of complications if they catch measles.

“Having two doses of the Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) vaccine is the best way to prevent it.

“Anyone with symptoms is advised to stay at home and phone their GP or NHS 111 for advice, rather than visiting the surgery or A&E, to prevent the illness spreading further.

“There is information on measles on the NHS website. This includes how to get vaccinations, advice to parents and carers to check if their child has measles, including photos of the measles rash.”

About measles

  • The first signs of measles are:
  • high temperature
  • runny or blocked nose
  • sneezing
  • cough
  • red, sore, watery eyes
  • rash, which usually appears a few days after cold-like symptoms (sometimes it starts around the ears before spreading to the rest of the body)

 What to do if you think your child has measles

  • Contact your GP by phone or call NHS 111 for advice.
  • Please do not just turn up to your GP, walk-in centre, or any other healthcare setting without calling ahead, as measles is very infectious – the doctor will make special arrangements to see your child so that, if they have measles, they won’t pass it to others.
  • People remain infectious until at least 4 days after the onset of the rash – so they should stay off nursery/ school/ university/ work/ other group activities until then.

Please make sure you and your family have had two doses of the MMR vaccine

Vaccination with TWO doses of MMR is the only way to give people maximum protection. MMR is part of the NHS routine childhood vaccine schedule, and protects against measles, mumps and rubella.

  • 1st dose should be given just after the child’s first birthday.
  • 2nd dose at 3 years 4 months and certainly before children start school full time.
  • However, you can have the MMR vaccine at any age. MMR can be given to older children, teenagers and adults if they missed their injections when they were younger.
  • It is safe, effective, and free of charge.
  • For people who do not touch any pork products, there is a version of the MMR vaccine, Priorix, which has no pork ingredients. You can request Priorix from your GP.

What to do if anyone in your family is not up to date with their MMR vaccinations

If anyone in your family is not up to date with their MMR, contact your GP surgery to arrange vaccination as soon as possible.

  • You can make an appointment with your GP to get up to date with MMR vaccines.
  • This is especially important when measles is spreading in the community – as it is now.
  • If you are not sure if your child needs an MMR vaccine, you can:
    • Check your child’s Red Book
    • Look at the NHS app
    • contact the GP to check
  • People should also make sure they are up to date with their MMR vaccines before going to large gatherings and festivals and abroad on holiday, and before older children start college or university.

If someone has been in contact with a person with measles

  • Measles can take up to 21 days to develop (incubation period) from being in contact with a case of measles.
  • Anyone who has had no doses of the MMR vaccine and has been in contact with a person with measles is strongly urged not to mix outside their own household for 21 days from contact with someone with measles.

For more information