Local GPs urge parents to ensure children and young people are protected against measles

Friday 3rd May, 2013

Local GPs are urging parents to help protect their children from measles by making sure that they are fully vaccinated against the potentially serious disease.

Two doses of the MMR vaccine provide almost complete protection against measles but many local children and teenagers remain unvaccinated and at risk.

After a significant rise in the number of people being confirmed with measles a national catch-up vaccination programme has been launched to ensure as many unvaccinated and partially vaccinated 10-16 year olds as possible are given the vaccination, particularly in the time for the next school year.

Parents urged to take action

GPs and health professionals at NHS Coastal West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group are urging parents to check whether their children have been immunisation – and if not to speak to their local GP practice about getting the vaccination.

Latest figures show high numbers of measles cases in England with 587 confirmed during the first three months of this year, following a record annual high of almost 2,000 cases in 2012.

More than 100 children in England so far this year have needed hospital care following measles complications.

"Measles is preventable"

Dr Katie Armstrong, Clinical Chief Officer for Coastal West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Measles is a very serious and potentially fatal disease, but it is entirely preventable.

" I encourage every parent to make sure that their children are vaccinated as soon as possible if they have missed out on MMR.

“It’s easy to arrange for your child to be vaccinated – simply speak to your GP practice about when you can book an appointment. Your local practice can also help if you’re not sure if your child has already had both of the required two doses of the vaccine.”

Read more about measles and the vaccine.