The single most important thing you can do to protect your children is have them vaccinated.
The MMR vaccine protects against three serious, preventable, illnesses: Measles, Mumps and Rubella (sometimes known as German measles)
All three of these illnesses are highly contagious and can lead to serious health complications. Complications can include meningitis, hearing loss, blindness, miscarriage in pregnancy and seizures.
The introduction of the MMR vaccine means that these diseases are rare. In the UK we have eliminated rubella, but we are no longer measles free. This means that measles is circulating in our community.
The best protection we have from measles is the MMR vaccine.
Children should receive their first MMR vaccine at 1 year old, and second vaccine at 3 years and 4 months old. Two doses of the MMR vaccine are needed.
Over 99% of people who have had two doses of the vaccine will be protected against measles and rubella. Cases of mumps in vaccinated people are much less severe than those who are unvaccinated.
Anyone who has not had two doses of the MMR vaccine should make it a priority to do so, regardless of age. If you are not sure if you, or someone in your family, has had the full two doses contact your GP practice online to check. Your GP practice will be able to arrange a catch-up vaccination appointment.
Together we can help make the UK measles free.
The MMR vaccine has been safely protecting against measles, mumps and rubella since 1988. The vaccination has undergone rigorous safety testing. It is trusted across the world to protect against these, potentially deadly, preventable diseases.
Side effects from the MMR vaccine may include a red, swollen or sore thigh/arm where the injection was given. Some children may feel unwell, lose their appetite or develop a temperature. You can read more about the vaccine and its potential side effects here.
There have been multiple studies undertaken to investigate the MMR vaccine and autism. There is no evidence of a link. The original study which suggested this has been discredited. Read more here.
It is never too late to get vaccinated.
If you think you, or one of your children, have missed a vaccination check their red book or contact your GP practice using their online services. You will be able to schedule a catch-up vaccination if needed.