NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group and City of York Council are working together to increase the uptake of the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccination amongst children and young people.
While confidence in the UK’s world-leading vaccination programme remains high – with uptake exceeding 90% for most childhood immunisations – there has been a small but steady decline in coverage in recent years.
Around 7000 5 year olds in the Yorkshire and Humber region may not be fully up-to-date with some routine immunisations that are routinely offered at 3 years of age, and young people up to 25 have also been identified as potentially vulnerable.
Dr Andrew Lee, the CCG’s Executive Director of Primary Care and Population Health said: “The CCG is urging people to ensure that their 10-11 year olds have had a ‘catch up’ vaccination for MMR, as well as all 5-25 year olds who have not had two doses of the jab. Measles is a highly infectious viral illness and so patients should ring their GP for advice as soon as possible if they suspect themselves or their child is at risk.
“Symptoms of measles can be very unpleasant and include cold-like symptoms, sore eyes, fever and more notably greyish-white spots on the inside of cheeks followed by a red-brown blotchy rash. Although the infection usually clears in around 7 to 10 days, it can sometimes lead to serious complications”
To address parents’ concerns about the MMR vaccine, information has been updated on NHS.uk to dispel any misleading information about the dangers of vaccines. This hopes to reassure people with NHS approved, evidence-based and trusted advice.
Cllr Carol Runciman, Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care, City of York Council said: “We are supporting our local areas to promote vaccines particularly with hard-to-reach families. Local immunisation coordinators are going into areas with low uptake and tailoring specific local interventions to under-vaccinated communities. The council urge everyone who may be eligible to get vaccinated as soon as possible”
For further details about the MMR vaccine and recommendations on when it should be given to babies, children and young people please visit: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/mmr-vaccine/