Croydon Council has accelerated its local Measles and Rubella Action Plan, to minimise the risk of measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) spreading by ensuring more residents are vaccinated against these highly contagious diseases which can have serious, potentially fatal complications.
A consortium of organisations across Croydon have developed the plan with support from regional NHS and Public Health England.
The local initiative is led by Croydon Council’s director of public health, Rachel Flowers.
The plan includes recommendations on how to improve the MMR vaccination uptake in both the routine childhood vaccination schedule, and for children and adults who missed out on vaccination in early life and require catch up vaccinations.
The work includes engaging with parents, carers and others to promote the benefits of the MMR vaccination.
The World Health Organisation advises a 95percent vaccination uptake rate, with two doses of MMR by age five, to achieve “herd immunity protection” among a local population.
Measles is still a problem in Croydon, with outbreaks occurring last year, leading to illness including hospitalisation.
The council is advising all residents to:
- Speak to your GP and find out your vaccination status to make sure you are fully covered.
- Know the facts and get important advice about vaccinations from a GP, pharmacist, health professional or the NHS website
- Those who work at a school or a college should find out their institution’s vaccination policy and encourage parents and carers, students and staff to be adequately protected and look after their health.
Flowers said, “Given the high rates of measles cases in older age groups in the recent outbreaks, it is particularly important to be aware that there is no upper age limit for the MMR vaccination.
“Pregnant women and those who are immuno-suppressed are also at a higher risk of serious complications if they contract measles. Every opportunity should be taken to check MMR status throughout the life course and administer the vaccination where appropriate.”
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