May 25 2013

Measles Outbreak Information from Harrow Council

doctorsMeasles outbreaks and the MMR vaccine – making sure your child or teenager is protected

You will have seen in the news recently that there have been serious outbreaks of measles in Wales. London is not in an outbreak situation like that seen in Wales but cases of measles are continuing to increase. Children and teenagers have been most affected because many of them missed out on their MMR vaccinations in the late 1990s and early 2000s when a scare mistakenly linked the vaccine to autism. This link has been entirely discredited.

Many people wrongly assume that measles is a harmless childhood disease. This is not the case. Measles is a highly infectious and unpleasant illness that can lead to serious complications, including blindness and even death.

It is estimated that up to a million children and young teenagers in England are not vaccinated with the full two doses of MMR, leaving them vulnerable to infection. Giving children and teenagers two doses of MMR will protect them from measles and will help prevent local outbreaks.

Getting the MMR vaccine:

  • If you have a child of school age, or a teenager, who has not had two doses of MMR, please contact your GP to make an appointment.
  • If you do not know if they have had two doses of MMR, please call your GP practice to check.
  • If you are not registered with a GP, register now and make sure your child or teenager is protected by having the MMR vaccine.
  • The MMR vaccine is free on the NHS and is available from your GP in London. Contact your GP as soon as possible to make an appointment.

With this letter is a flyer (link below) about measles and the benefits of the MMR vaccination. We hope it helps you decide on getting your child vaccinated against measles (as well as mumps and rubella):

Measles flyer – www.gov.uk/government/publications/measles-dont-let-your-child-catch-it-flyer-for-schools

How to register with a GP – www.nhs.uk/chq/pages/1095.aspx

Further information:

Yours sincerely

Dr Andrew Howe

Director of Public Health, Barnet and Harrow Councils

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