NHS launches catch up campaign for missed MMR vaccines


Millions of parents and carers in England are being urged to book their children in for their missed measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine as part of a major new NHS drive to protect children from becoming seriously unwell, as measles cases continue to rise across the country.


The NHS campaign will see all parents of children aged from six to 11 years contacted encouraging them to make an appointment for their missed MMR vaccine.


NHS figures show more than 3.4 million children under the age of 16 years are either unprotected or not fully protected and at risk of catching these serious and completely preventable diseases.


Measles spreads very easily among those who are unvaccinated, especially in nurseries and schools.


Measles can be a very unpleasant illness. In some children it can be very serious and lead to hospitalisation – and in rare cases tragically can cause death. People in certain risk groups including babies and young children, pregnant women, and people with weakened immunity, are at increased risk of complications from measles.


Measles is not just a childhood disease and can be serious at any age. If caught during pregnancy it can be very serious causing stillbirth, miscarriage and low birth weight and NHS bosses are also urging young adults to catch up on any missed doses before thinking about starting a family.


Symptoms include runny nose, cough, high fever, sore red watery eyes and a blotchy red-brown rash.




Having two doses of the Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) vaccine at the right time (dose 1 from 12 months and dose 2 from 3 years 4 months) is the best way to protect your child and help prevent it spreading, especially to those most vulnerable. Two doses of the MMR vaccine give you excellent lifelong protection. If you or your child have missed out, contact the surgery to catch up as soon as possible.


To see if your child is up to date with their MMR vaccines, check your child’s personal child health record (PCHR), known as the red book or contact the surgery. People may also be able to check their vaccination status on the NHS App.


The MMR vaccine ingredients – is a halal vaccine available? – YES


Evidence suggests there is confidence in NHS vaccination programmes and parents largely trust the advice that they get from practice nurses, general practitioners, pharmacists and from the NHS. However, we understand the issue of pork ingredients (known as ‘porcine gelatine’) in some vaccines has raised concerns among some groups.


In the UK we have two types of MMR vaccine – MMR VaxPro and Priorix.


Priorix does not contain any pork ingredients and is as safe and effective as MMR VaxPro. For both vaccines, a full two doses will provide protection against measles, mumps and rubella.


You can request Priorix from your GP. Parents can also make this request for children.


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