A new campaign has launched today by the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) supported by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and the NHS, to encourage parents and guardians of children aged 1 to 5 years to check that their children’s MMR vaccines are up to date and those that may have missed their appointments during the pandemic are to contact their GP practice.
In Tameside the latest data for 2020/21 showed that MMR first dose at 2 years of age had a 93.5% uptake rate, similar to the England average. MMR second dose at 5 years had an 89.9% uptake rate which is significantly lower than the England average. Although the 2021 uptake was an improvement on the last two years, Tameside is still lower on uptake than they were in 2016/17.
Uptake of most routine childhood vaccinations has been declining over the past 5 to 10 years. It is extremely important that all babies and children receive their routine vaccinations at the right time in order to give them the best start in life.
Measles can infect around 9 out of 10 non-immune (those who are unvaccinated or have not previously been infected with the measles virus) people exposed to it and can lead to serious complications.The MMR vaccine is the safest and most effective way for parents and guardians to protect their children against measles, mumps and rubella.
Diseases like smallpox and polio have been eradicated in the UK thanks to vaccines.
Routine vaccinations are offered for free on the NHS to all babies and children and millions of doses have been given safely in the UK and around the world. All vaccines are thoroughly tested for safety and are continually monitored after they are introduced. While COVID-19 is in circulation, GP practices will have measures in place to keep parents/guardians and their children safe.
Anyone who can’t remember if their child is up to date should check their child’s Red Book (personal child health record).
Parents or guardians of children who are not up to date with their two doses of MMR vaccine should contact their GP practice to book an appointment. It’s never too late to catch up.
Protect your child with both MMR vaccines. Contact your GP practice to book their first or second dose.
Find out more at nhs.uk/MMR