National surge in measles cases: how to protect your child now

Posted by: kara - Posted on:

Parents and carers of children across Swinton are urged to book their youngsters in for their missed measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine to protect them from becoming seriously unwell, as measles cases continue to rise steeply across the country.

If you have a child who hasn’t had their MMR vaccine, please make an appointment with us for their missed MMR vaccine as soon as possible.

Parents and carers can find out more about the different vaccines their child should have and when by visiting www.nhs.uk and searching for ‘NHS vaccinations and when to have them’.

Visit NHS.uk for information about booking your child’s vaccination appointment.

About measles

Measles is a very serious illness, with more than one in five children who get the disease having to be admitted to hospital for treatment. Complications from measles, mumps and rubella can be potentially life-changing, including blindness, deafness and swelling of the brain (encephalitis).

Analysis shows one infected child in a classroom can infect up to nine other unvaccinated children, making it one of the most infectious diseases worldwide; and more infectious than COVID-19.

Measles is not just a childhood disease either and can be serious at any age. If caught during pregnancy it can be very serious causing stillbirth, miscarriage and low birth weight.

What to do if you suspect you or your child has measles

Do not panic! It’s very unlikely to be measles if you’ve had both doses of the MMR vaccine or you’ve had measles before.

Non-urgent advice: Important

Do not come to the surgery, visit friends or relatives or send your child to school if you think they may have measles.

If you or your child have a rash and a temperature then contact the surgery without delay.

Ask for an urgent GP appointment or get help from NHS 111 if we are closed if you think:

  • you or your child may have measles
  • you’ve been in close contact with someone who has measles and you’ve not had measles before or you’ve not had 2 doses of the MMR vaccine
  • you’ve been in close contact with someone who has measles and you’re pregnant
  • you have a weakened immune system and think you have measles or have been in close contact with someone with measles.

We will ask you to send photos of the rash so that we can see what it looks like. We may also ask you for a urine sample to confirm the diagnosis.

How to check if you or your child are protected against measles

Log into your GP electronic health record and view your immunisation history using the NHS App. Please contact the surgery if you need help to do this and we can check for you.

About the MMR vaccination

The MMR vaccine is proven to be safe for youngsters and offers lifelong protection. After two doses:

  • around 99% of people will be protected against measles and rubella
  • around 88% of people will be protected against mumps.

How to book your MMR vaccination

The NHS is acting very quickly to tackle the spread of measles right now with text, email and letter reminders to parents and carers of children who have yet to get full protection.

Two doses of the safe and effective MMR vaccine are needed for maximum life-long protection, with the first dose given around the child’s first birthday, and the second dose given at around three years and four months old.

However, anyone can catch up at any age on any missed doses and it’s never too late to protect yourself.

Please contact the practice as soon as possible to book your MMR vaccination if you have received an invitation and let’s keep Swinton safer together.