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MMR jab plea to parents after alarm at spread of measles in parts of UK

Health leaders in Northern Lincolnshire are urging people to come forward and get vaccinated against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR).

Figures show that almost one in ten children aged five to 15 in North Lincolnshire remain at risk because they are not fully vaccinated. By getting vaccinated against MMR, this can protect individuals and others, reducing the risk of an outbreak.

The push by local health leaders to get the MMR vaccine comes as England faces a notable upsurge in measles cases, particularly in the West Midlands. That region alone has seen hundreds of cases across the autumn and winter.

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The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) – alarmed at the disease’s spread in the Midlands – says further outbreaks of the disease could spread to other towns and cities, unless urgent action is taken to increase MMR vaccination uptake in areas at greatest risk. The latest UKHSA figures indicate no suspected measles cases in northern Lincolnshire, so far this year.

In North East Lincolnshire, one on 12 children aged 5-15 are not fully vaccinated. Diane Lee, the director of public health for both the North and North East Lincolnshire councils, said: “Measles spreads very easily among those who are unvaccinated, especially in places like nurseries and schools.

“Children who get measles can be very poorly, sometimes leading to hospitalisation and suffering life changing complications. People in certain at-risk groups including babies and young children, pregnant women, and people with weakened immunity, are also at increased risk of complications from measles.

“The best way for parents to protect their children from these preventable diseases is the MMR vaccine. I’d also recommend that all adults in our area should check their vaccination status with their GP. Two doses of the MMR vaccine give lifelong protection and it’s never too late to catch up.”

Measles is not just a childhood disease and can affect adults too. Jack Lewis, consultant in public health with the Humber and North Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership, said the the MMR vaccine was “important at any age, particularly if you have a weakened immune system or long-term health condition”. He urged those who were not fully vaccinated to make an appointment with their GP.

More than 99 per cent of people who have two doses of the MMR vaccine will be protected against measles and rubella. It also provides a level of protection against mumps. Nine out of 10 unvaccinated people can become infected with measles if in a close environment with an infected person.

Cllr Stan Shreeve, the portfolio holder for health at North East Lincolnshire Council, said: “I cannot stress enough the importance of what our health experts locally are saying. Our children are best protected if advice is followed, whilst adults should be reminded of the need to be fully protected.”

Nationally, over February and March, the NHS will be inviting around one million children via their parents and guardians to have their MMR vaccines. To find out more details about the MMR vaccine, and symptoms of the diseases it helps prevent, visit the MMR page on the NHS website.

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Original artice: https://www.grimsbytelegraph.co.uk/all-about/scunthorpe

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