Parents and guardians urged to make sure children are up to date with MMR vaccines
Parents and guardians across Lancashire are being reminded to ensure their children are up to date with their measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine ahead of the new school year.
Routine childhood immunisations are the safest and most effective way of protecting children against preventable diseases. When children don't get their MMR vaccines, they're more exposed to becoming seriously ill.
Children are offered 2 doses of the MMR vaccine by their GP, the first when they turn one and the second at around three years and four months, before they start nursery or school. It is particularly important that children are up to date with all their routine vaccinations before they start school.
Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020, there has been a significant drop in the number of children getting MMR jabs and other childhood vaccines.
Earlier this year, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) revealed that more than 1 in 10 children under the age of 5 are not fully protected from measles, the lowest levels in a decade. Measles is highly contagious – and can be fatal – so even a small decline in MMR uptake can lead to a rise in cases.
Ahead of the new school year, parents and guardians are being encouraged to ensure their children are vaccinated against MMR. Parents who are unsure if their child is up to date with all their routine vaccinations should check their child’s Red Book (personal child health record) in the first instance. If you are still not sure, contact your GP practice to check and book an appointment.
County Councillor Michael Green, cabinet member for health and wellbeing at Lancashire County Council, said: "It is important that all parents and guardians ensure their child is up to date with their routine vaccinations, including MMR, so they are fully protected against infections and viruses.
"If they are not up to date, please contact your GP practice to book an appointment as soon as you can.
"The vaccines are safe and will ensure your child and their friends have maximum protection against measles, mumps and rubella.
"If your child has missed one or more doses, please just take them for their vaccinations as soon as possible."
To find out more visit: MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine - NHS (www.nhs.uk)