Parents urged to check with GPs on measles immunisation
Parents and carers in Telford and Wrekin are being reminded to ensure that their children are protected against measles.
This follows an increase in cases of measles across the country; in particular Wales and neighbouring Shropshire.
Telford & Wrekin Council’s public health team is working closely with the local GPs, Public Health England (PHE) to monitor the situation and promote access to the MMR vaccine.
The borough has a higher level of MMR immunisation than the national average; however, parents whose children are not protected from Measles, Mumps and Rubella should arrange with their GP surgery to have their children immunised. This is the best and safest way to protect your children from catching measles.
Both immunisations are necessary to ensure that children are fully protected. Although the vaccines are normally given at the age of 13 months and between 3 years 4 months and 5 years, children of any age, including teenagers and young adults, can still be vaccinated if they missed out on immunisation when they were younger. It is never too late to have this done.
Public Health England is advising that GPs in higher risk areas offer the MMR vaccination to children from six months old.
Figures from PHE show that in 2012 there were 5 cases of measles in the borough.
Dr Catherine Woodward, Telford & Wrekin Council’s Assistant Director of Public Health said “Measles is a highly infectious and potentially extremely serious condition, so I really welcome the national catch-up programme which has now been put in place.
“In line with the initial advice from Public Health England, I strongly encourage local parents of unvaccinated children and teenagers in Telford and Wrekin to contact their GP practice and arrange vaccination as soon as possible.”
If parents or carers are unsure that their child is up-to-date with their MMR vaccines they should check in their child health record book and if they are not please arrange for this to be undertaken at your GP practice as soon as possible.
Measles is highly contagious and is generally spread from person to person by respiratory droplets such as coughs and sneezes.
Early symptoms include a high temperature, cough, painful red eyes, and sometimes small white spots inside the mouth. A red, blotchy rash appears around 3 days later, usually starting on the face and then spreading down over the rest of the body. Although most children recover within a few weeks, in serious cases measles can lead to meningitis or pneumonia.
Any person with a rash should stay at home for five days after the start of the rash.
Dr Michael Innes, Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group’s clinical chair, said: “I would urge parents not to underestimate the seriousness of measles, and to ensure their children are protected. Having seen many cases whilst working abroad, I can vouch for the fact that Measles can be very unpleasant and in serious cases can be fatal.
“We are encouraging parents to contact their GP practice as soon as possible and to book an appointment. It is not too late to get your child protected with an immunisation.”
If you are not sure if your child has had two doses of MMR vaccine, please check with your GP practice and they will be able to tell you.
For more information on measles visit
If you think your child has measles, please contact your GP practice who can offer advice and support.
Jointly issued by Telford & Wrekin Council and NHS
If a parent in a higher risk area decides to get their child immunised with the MMR vaccine early (from six months onwards) this should be in addition to the regular MMR immunisation schedule, and that child should still have a jab at 12 to 13 months, followed by a booster when aged from three years four months to five years old. For specific information regarding individual cases, parents should speak to their GP