Public health officer urges take up of MMR vaccine

PA file photo dated 09/08/2004 of a nurse handling a syringe at a medical centre in Ashford, Kent. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday January 19, 2007. Worldwide deaths from measles have been cut by more than half by vaccination programmes. Measles is a highly infectious viral disease that causes symptoms including fever and distinctive reddish brown spots. It mainly affects young children, but anyone can catch it. The virus is spread by droplets from coughs and sneezes, contact with the skin, or through objects with the live virus on them. See PA story Health Measles. Photo credit should read: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
PA file photo dated 09/08/2004 of a nurse handling a syringe at a medical centre in Ashford, Kent. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday January 19, 2007. Worldwide deaths from measles have been cut by more than half by vaccination programmes. Measles is a highly infectious viral disease that causes symptoms including fever and distinctive reddish brown spots. It mainly affects young children, but anyone can catch it. The virus is spread by droplets from coughs and sneezes, contact with the skin, or through objects with the live virus on them. See PA story Health Measles. Photo credit should read: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

West Sussex County Council Public Health officials are encouraging residents to take up the national catch-up programme to increase MMR vaccination uptake in children and teenagers.

The national programme is in response to the increase in measles cases. The English cases are distributed, with the highest number of cases in the North West and North East.

The aim of the national programme is to prevent measles outbreaks by vaccinating as many unvaccinated and partially vaccinated 10 – 16-year-olds as possible in time for the next school year.

West Sussex County Council director of Public Health and Wellbeing Judith Wright said: “I’m pleased to say that West Sussex has a higher than average take up of the MMR vaccine, but I would urge parents who haven’t had their children vaccinated for whatever reason to reconsider this decision with the national catch-up programme.

“We’ve all seen the national media coverage and the fact remains that measles can be a very dangerous disease. The only way to prevent measles outbreaks is to ensure good uptake of the MMR vaccine across all age groups.”

If parents are unsure whether their child has had the required two doses of the vaccine, they should contact their GP who will have a record.