parents urged to take up MMR vaccines for children
of children and teenagers in Burnham-On-Sea who missed their MMR
vaccines have this week been urged to join a catch-up vaccinations
programme - which has been launched by Public Health England,
the NHS and the Department of Health - is aimed at halting the
spread of measles by vaccinating as many unvaccinated and partially
vaccinated 10-16 year olds as possible in time for the next school
New figures published this week by Public Health England show
high numbers of confirmed measles cases in England during the
first three months of 2013, reaching 587 by the end of March,
following a record annual high of almost 2,000 cases in 2012.
In Somerset, there were 16 confirmed cases of measles in 2012
and one confirmed case so far in 2013.
Experts believe the rise in measles cases can be mostly attributed
to the proportion of unprotected 10-16 year olds who missed out
on vaccination in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
In Somerset, a catch-up programme will identify un-vaccinated
and partially vaccinated 10-16 year olds through GPs to encourage
uptake of the vaccination.
Trudi Grant, Acting Director of Public Health at Somerset County
Council, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "Measles is a potentially
fatal but entirely preventable disease, so it is very disappointing
that we have seen an increase in numbers of cases."
catch-up programme recommends that we specifically target young
people most at risk. Those who have not been vaccinated should
urgently seek at least one dose of MMR vaccination which will
give them 95 per cent protection against measles. A second dose
is then needed to provide almost complete protection."
"Measles is not a mild illness - it is very unpleasant and
can lead to serious complications, with around one in 10 children
who get measles being admitted to hospital."
to look out for include a few days of cold-like symptoms, followed
by a rash with high fever and possibly red eyes and a cough. In
some people it can cause pneumonia and ear infections and in rare
cases, people can die from measles."
"Its never too late to protect against measles. Parents
of unvaccinated or partially vaccinated children, teenagers and
young adults should urgently arrange to get vaccinated by their
GP. If you are unsure whether your child has had two doses of
the vaccine, speak to your GP who will have a record."