According to Public Health England, thousands of four and five-year-olds in the North West are at "unnecessary risk of serious diseases" because they aren't up-to-date with their MMR vaccinations.
Estimated number of children in the North West missing their first dose of MMR.
Estimated number of children missing their second dose of MMR.
In the UK dose 1 of the MMR vaccination protects against Measles, Mumps and Rubella and is usually given to children at around 12 months old.
The second dose is given just before children start school to ensure the best protection from the diseases. Two doses of MMR in a lifetime are needed for a person to be considered fully protected.
In the first quarter of 2019 there were 231 cases of measles confirmed in the UK. As the disease is highly infectious, anyone who has not received 2 doses of the vaccine is at risk.
Angela Hardman, Deputy Director Health Protection at Public Health England North West, said:
It’s a real concern that so many young children could be starting school without the full protection that the NHS childhood immunisation programme offers for free. We know that parents want the best protection for their children and so many may be unaware that their child is not up-to-date. We’re urging all parents of primary school starters to check their child’s Red Book now to make sure there is a record of two MMR doses and the 4-in-1 booster vaccine. If not, parents should contact their GP practice to arrange any further vaccinations that are needed.
To check if their child has received all their vaccines, parents are advised to go to https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/nhs-vaccinations-and-when-to-have-them/ and refer to their child’s 'Red Book'.