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Make sure your child is vaccinated against measles and act if they are not fully protected

21 February 2022

Parents and guardians of children in Richmond upon Thames are urged to make sure their children are up to date with the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine.

Vaccine uptake has decreased across the country, with one in four children in Richmond upon Thames not fully protected by the age of five. This means they are at risk of catching measles.

Measles is an infectious disease that can lead to complications such as ear infections, pneumonia, and inflammation of the brain. It can lead to hospitalisations, and, on rare occasions, long term disability or death.  

Measles is highly contagious and spreads easily between people coughing and sneezing. Many children have missed their jabs during the COVID-19 pandemic; they may be more at risk of catching measles if they do not get vaccinated. Those most at risk include people who have not had two doses of MMR vaccine or have not had the infection before.  

The MMR vaccine is included in the national routine immunisation schedule, and it is a safe and effective vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella. To ensure full protection, two doses are administered to babies and young children. The first is given when the child is one and the second dose is given when the child is three years and four months old, before starting school.

Parents and guardians are urged to ensure their children are up to date with the MMR vaccine and if the child has missed vaccines, to contact their GP practice and book an appointment.

Visit NHS.uk/MMR to find out more about the vaccine. Shannon Katiyo, the Director of Public Health at Richmond Council, said:

"Measles can present a serious health risk to children. The NHS continues to provide routine childhood immunisations, including the MMR vaccine. You need to check if your child has received two doses of the MMR vaccine and if not or if you are unsure, please contact your GP and ensure they are vaccinated."

Cllr Piers Allen, Lead member for Adult Social Care and Health and Chair of the Richmond Health and Wellbeing Board, added:

"These infections can lead to serious complications. It’s alarming that one in four children in Richmond upon Thames are not fully protected by the age of five and could be at risk of getting sick. Please take the time to check that your child is protected and if they have missed a vaccine, immediately book an appointment to get them fully protected."

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Up to: February 2022

Updated: 1 March 2022

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