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Campaign launched to immunise one million children

Health officials in England have launched a campaign to immunise a million children, aged between 10 and 16, with the MMR vaccine following an outbreak in Wales. They warned further measles outbreaks could occur 'anywhere'.

Special clinics are being set up in schools and GP surgeries at a cost of £20 million. There's already been a worrying rise in cases in the north-east and north-west.

Medical Editor Lawrence McGinty reports:

Read Lawrence's blog: No measles emergency yet, but medics want to prevent one

Teeside children get vaccinated amid measles outbreak

Secondary school children have rolled up their sleeves to receive the MMR jab in Teesside, one of the areas worst affected by the measles outbreak.

Around 70 children, more than 10 percent of the pupils at All Saints School in Ingleby Barwick, received the jab in the dinner hall after their parents consented.

Lucy Butler,15, prepares to have her measles jab at All Saints School in Ingleby Barwick, Teesside. Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Professor Peter Kelly, chairman of the Tees Outbreak Control Team, said there were 186 confirmed cases on Teesside since the new year, with a similar number suspected.

"It's quite a serious problem on Teesside," he said. "We have been aware of it since it started in mid-January and we have been working with our GP colleagues."We wrote to parents six or seven weeks ago to advise them to take their children, if they weren't vaccinated, to the GPs.

"We felt the extra step of coming to schools would give us that really comprehensive coverage of children we need to catch."There is a myth that it is just a childhood illness. People can be very poorly with measles and there can be some very serious complications."

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Tyne Tees

Measles vaccinations start in Teesside schools

A school based measles vaccination programme has started in schools across Teesside, after the number of cases increased again.

There have been 150 confirmed cases of measles in the North East since the recent outbreak.

Almost all the reported cases are on Teesside, with just three in County Durham and none in Newcastle or Gateshead.

The NHS is advising people to contact their GP about vaccinating their children, or to take advantage of the schools programmes.

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Wales

Public Health Wales: Get MMR vaccine before exams

Public Health Wales is urging young people to get the MMR vaccination before the start of their exams.

The increase of cases shows that the outbreak is not easing up, especially in the 10 to 18 year old age group.

Young people have important examinations coming up and we need to make sure that those aged between 10 and 18 are vaccinated so their preparation for these examinations are not affected.

Vaccination sessions are continuing in schools throughout Wales and I urge pupils and their parents to take advantage of these.

We have seen that measles can be potentially fatal and no one should be complacent about the severity of measles. It can kill but can be prevented by a simple, safe vaccine.

– Dr Marion Lyons, Director of Health Protection for Public Health Wales

Nick Clegg urges MMR jabs for children

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has urged parents to overcome their apprehension about the MMR jab.

Speaking to LBC 97.3 Radio, he said: "I really would urge parents, whatever your misgivings, do what people who know about this most say is right for your children - get that course of jabs done."

Read more: Measles Q&A: What is measles and how to treat it

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