Parents and guardians across Croydon are being urged to ensure their children are fully vaccinated against measles, mumps and rubella as the NHS in London seeks to increase uptake of the vaccine which provides protection against these highly infectious diseases.
The NHS provides the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine to children as part of their routine immunisation schedule.
A single dose of the injection is given when a child is a year old, with a second dose administered when they reach three years and four months, before they start nursery or school. Two doses of the vaccine are needed to ensure full protection.
Getting vaccinated against measles, mumps and rubella is vitally important as these conditions can lead to other serious problems including meningitis, hearing loss and problems during pregnancy.
The NHS London campaign comes amid data showing uptake of the childhood vaccination across the capital remains below the 95per cent target recommended by the World Health Organization.
Data published this week by the UK Health Security Agency showed that up to March 2022, roughly 80.7per cent of children in London have had a first dose of the MMR vaccine by the time they reached two. Only 74.8per cent had their second jab by the age of five.
Parents and guardians are being reminded that during the pandemic, the NHS has continued to provide routine childhood immunisations, alongside the rollout of the covid-19 vaccination programme. If your child has missed their MMR vaccine, it’s not too late to catch up.
Dr Chris Streather, medical director for the NHS in London, said: “It’s vital that parents ensure their children are fully protected against measles, mumps and rubella.
“The MMR vaccine is safe, quick and free as part of the NHS routine immunisation schedule – and it’s never too late to get both doses to give your child protection.
“We are urging parents to check their child’s Red Book or speak to their GP practice to ensure all immunisations are up-to-date.”
Two doses of the MMR vaccine give 99per cent protection against measles and rubella and about 88per cent protection against mumps.
The MMR vaccine has been safely protecting children for many years in many countries worldwide. In Britain, millions of doses have been given since it was introduced in 1988.
Before vaccines can be used, they are thoroughly tested for safety and approved by the UK’s independent regulator.
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