Accessibility Statement

Residents urged to prioritise MMR vaccination as measles cases rise

Press Release: 30/01/2024

 

MeaslesTameside residents are urged to act now to protect themselves and their community against measles, the preventable illness which is on the rise across the country.

Anyone under 35-years-old is encouraged to prioritise having the MMR vaccination if they haven’t received it before or have only had one dose.

Measles is a serious illness that can affect anyone who isn’t protected. It can be a very unpleasant illness and, in some people lead to hospitalisation and even death in rare cases. People in some at-risk groups including babies and young children, pregnant women, and people with weakened immunity, are at increased risk of complications from measles.  Measles can lead to serious problems if it spreads to other parts of the body, such as the lungs or brain, possibly causing pneumonia, meningitis, blindness and seizures (fits).

Early symptoms include cold-like symptoms, such as a runny nose, sneezing, and a cough; high temperature; and sore, red watery eyes.   A rash usually appears on the face and behind the ears a few days after the cold-like symptoms, before it spreads to the rest of the body.

Most people can easily check their vaccination records through the NHS app or by checking their child’s Red Book. Parents whose children missed out, or anyone of any age who has not yet had a vaccine or is missing a dose, are urged to contact their GP practice for vaccination. Measles is highly contagious and one in five children with the disease will attend hospital, and nine out of ten unvaccinated children are at risk of catching measles if someone in their class has it.

The national increase in measles cases means there is a greater risk of local outbreaks, emphasising the importance of making sure everyone who is eligible for vaccination takes up the offer. The MMR vaccine is safe and highly effective, with lifelong protection achieved after two doses in 99% of people.

Councillor Eleanor Wills, Tameside Council Executive Member for Population Health, said: "Measles cases are on the rise, and it's crucial for parents and carers to take steps in protecting themselves and their children. The MMR vaccine is our strongest defence against this highly contagious illness. We encourage everyone to ensure vaccinations are up-to-date and to reach out to their GP practice if necessary.  There is no upper age limit for vaccination so if you or your loved ones have missed out, now is the time to get that protection. We can stop this infection in its tracks with vaccination."

If you or your child have had both doses of the MMR vaccine or have had measles previously, any symptoms are unlikely to be measles. If you are concerned you or your child might have measles, seek urgent help through NHS 111 or your GP practice but please call ahead before visiting your GP or other healthcare setting with measles symptoms, unless it’s an emergency. More information is available by visiting https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/measles/.

Contact your GP practice if you need to book a vaccination for yourself or your child.

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