Live updates


High court rules teens 'should be given MMR jab'

A 15-year-old girl and her 11-year-old sister should receive the MMR vaccination, against the wishes of the pair and their mother a High Court judge has ruled.

Mrs Justice Theis ruled that the vaccination is in the best interests of the girls - who cannot be identified - after a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London.

A 15-year-old girl and her 11-year-old sister should receive the MMR vaccination. Credit: David Cheskin/PA Wire

The Judge made the ruling on September 5, after a private hearing on July 31, and it was published today on a legal website after the BBC learned of the case and reported the result.

The girls' father - who is separated from their mother - asked the court to order the vaccination.

The mother of the pair questioned the benefits of the vaccine and was concerned over the potential side effects.


MMR jab for 200 at-risk pupils

The MMR jab drive comes after a new outbreak of measles in South Wales Credit: David Cheskin/PA Wire

More than 200 at-risk school children are to be given the MMR jab after a measles case was confirmed in a region recovering from a major epidemic.

Pupils at a south Wales school will be given the triple vaccine as concerned health chiefs act to avert a new outbreak of the potential killer illness.

A massive programme to inoculate thousands of children was launched in the greater Swansea area in the spring as it battled a major measles outbreak. Large numbers of previously unprotected children were given the triple measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) jab as a result.

The new case comes three months after the end of that epidemic - the biggest outbreak of measles ever to hit Wales. More than 1,200 people contracted measles, 88 serious enough to visit hospital, and one person died in the outbreak which began in November last year.

Measles cases across England fall to 113 in June

The number of confirmed measles cases in England fell to 113 in June, Public Health England announced.

The number of confirmed measles cases in England fell to 113 in June, Public Health England said. Credit: ITV News

This was down from 193 cases in May and "follows the nationwide rollout of the MMR catch-up programme", the organisation said.

Head of immunisation Dr Mary Ramsay said it was "still too early to be confident" that the drop in measles cases was a result of the campaign, "but we are making good progress towards the 95% target".

Children at private schools 'most at risk' from measles

A measles outbreak has hit the UK. Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Children at private schools face the greatest risk from the measles outbreak and could pose a health threat to the rest of the population, a leading doctor has warned.

Professor John Ashton said Britain's 600,000 privately-educated children were at much greater risk of infection than those in the state sector.

Prof Ashton said a mix of large numbers of middle-class children who were not vaccinated against measles following the Wakefield scare in the 1990s, along with pupils from overseas with unknown health records, meant schools could become "reservoirs of disease", the Daily Telegraph said.

He said the risk was similar to that from groups such as gypsies and travellers, who have previously spread the disease.

Prof Ashton, who will soon become president of the Faculty of Public Health, said: "You've got a lot of middle-class, well-off parents, large numbers of whom did not have their children immunised because of the Wakefield scare - which was a very middle-class phenomenon.

"Layered on top of that you have got a lot of children from abroad, especially from the Far East, from countries such as Hong Kong and China, and there are few checks being done to establish their immunisation records."

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:

Load more updates