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Measles case prompts Public Health vaccine reminder

By David Porter

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With two cases of laboratory-confirmed measles since October 2023, one of which was confirmed today, Public Health Scotland (PHS) is encouraging the public to take up the offer of the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine.

Anyone who hasn’t had two doses of the free MMR vaccine, as well as parents and carers of children who have missed a dose, is encouraged to visit the NHS Inform website to find out how to arrange an appointment in their local health board area.

Uptake of MMR has declined across all UK nations in recent years and there remains a risk of infection in those who are not vaccinated or not fully vaccinated for their age.

Having two doses of the MMR vaccine is the best way to be fully protected against measles.

Measles can be a very serious condition, causing pneumonia and encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) and can affect people of any age if they have not been vaccinated with concerns raised about a large outbreak seen in England as well where as of January 18, there have been 216 confirmed cases and 103 probable cases in the West Midlands since October 1 2023.

Around 80 per cent of cases have been seen in Birmingham, with about 10 per cent in Coventry, the majority being in children aged under 10 years.

The MMR vaccine protects against measles with the first dose offered to children between 12-13 months, and the second dose offered at 3 years 4 months. If it’s missed at these times, it can be given at any age.

Dr Sam Ghebrehewet, Head of Vaccination and Immunisation, PHS said: “As measles cases continue to increase across other parts of the UK and Europe, we’re working with health boards to ensure that as many people as possible are fully vaccinated with the MMR vaccine.

"Two doses are needed to give full protection.”

Further information on measles and how to check you / your child is fully protected can be found on MMR against measles | NHS inform.

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