A committee of AMs say 30,000 children in Wales still need the MMR jab. It follows a report into the measles outbreak, centred on the Swansea area, which saw more than 1,200 cases of the disease.
The group warns that there's a need to 'avoid complacency' between outbreaks of measles. It calls on the Welsh Government and Public Health Wales to determine the best way of raising awareness of the need to have the MMR vaccine.
A spokesperson for the Welsh Government said: "The response to date has been very encouraging with over 74,000 non-routine MMR vaccinations across Wales. It is important that we all take every opportunity to reinforce the importance and safety of the vaccination."
An inquiry into the recent measles outbreak centred on the Swansea area gets underway at the Senedd today.
The Welsh Government's Health and Social Care Committee will consider the factors leading to the outbreak, the actions taken by public health professionals in working with other agencies and in response to the outbreak.
Among those giving evidence will be Health Minister Mark Drakeford, representatives from the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg, Betsi Cadwaladr and Aneurin Bevan health boards and Public Health Wales.
The committee will also look at what lessons can be learned from the outbreak.
The measles outbreak that began in Swansea is officially over, but health chiefs have warned people not to become complacent.
The challenge now is to ensure uptake of the MMR vaccine remains high so we don’t find ourselves in the same predicament a few years down the line.
We’re pleased to report that GP practices are still delivering higher numbers of MMR vaccine compared to last year. We hope that this is a sign that people realise these diseases, which we may think are in the past, can still affect us today.
It is everyone’s responsibility to protect themselves and the community if we are to prevent another outbreak in future.
– Teresa Owen, Director of Public Health at Hywel Dda Health Board
A public enquiry is needed to learn lessons from the Swansea measles outbreak says the Shadow Minister for Health, Darren Millar.
Attention must now turn quickly to planning for the future and the urgent need for an independent public inquiry. Lessons must be learned and failings identified. I urge the Welsh Labour Government to analyse the need for an inquiry and make a statement to the National Assembly as soon as possible
The eight month measles epidemic centered around Swansea is officially over as no new cases have been reported since May.
We remain concerned about the large numbers still not vaccinated in the 10 to 18 age group and we would remind those young people and those parents that they remain at risk of measles, even now that the outbreak is over, and should speak to their GP about vaccination as soon as possible.
“The only reason this outbreak could happen was because not enough young people in Wales were fully vaccinated with two doses of MMR and there is absolutely no guarantee that this could not happen again.”
– Dr Marion Lyons, Director of Health Protection for Public Health Wales
We still have work to do. The young people in the 10 to 18 age group who still have not been vaccinated should make the necessary arrangements at their earliest convenience. We would not want to see another outbreak.
The measles outbreak centred on the Swansea area has been declared over eight months after it began.
Public Health Wales has announced that there have been no laboratory confirmed measles cases linked to the outbreak area since 22 May, indicating that the outbreak is now over.
The outbreak began in November 2012 and resulted in 1,219 cases, 88 people visited a hospital due to measles during the outbreak and one person died.
Efforts to bring the outbreak to an end have seen 75,868 unscheduled MMR vaccinations given at GP surgeries, weekend drop-in sessions and schools and occupational health vaccination sessions in Wales during the outbreak period.
But Public Health Wales is warning that there are still around 30,000 unvaccinated children in the 10 to 18 age group across Wales, and that there is still a possibility of a further outbreak in the future.