Measles - October 2023
Uptake of the MMR vaccine is at its lowest in a decade. Measles cases are rising across the country, with over 102,000 children starting primary school in England being at risk of catching the disease. Measles is highly infectious and if left unvaccinated nine out of ten children in a classroom can catch the disease if just one child is infectious.
While measles can be mild for some children, one in five will require a hospital visit and the infection can lead to complications in one in 15, such as meningitis and sepsis. There is no specific treatment for measles, and vaccination gives the best protection from serious illness.
The MMR vaccine is given at one year old and again at around three years and four months in readiness for starting school. Two doses are enough to give lifelong protection from being seriously unwell with mumps, measles and rubella. The MMR vaccine is often given at the same time as the pre-school booster including protection against polio. Anyone who has missed any of the vaccinations can catch up at any time.
To check if your child is up to date with their vaccinations check their red book or ask at your GP practice. If any doses have been missed you can make an appointment at your GP practice to catch up and become protected.