Measles awareness campaign
Measles vaccination rates are still far lower than levels needed to protect the population. This is despite the finding of a new Department of Health survey that over 90 per cent of parents are aware it is the best way to protect their child.
The findings follow recent estimates that suggest over two million children in England are at risk from the disease because they have missed either their first or second MMR vaccination. And the poll comes as the Department launches a measles awareness campaign.
From 1 August the Measles: Is your child safe? roadshow will visit 12 measles hotspots across England to give parents the opportunity to talk with health professionals and get the facts on measles and other childhood illness, including the most effective ways to prevent them.
Though preventable, measles is a highly infectious disease and can be serious. Because it spreads so easily, 95 per cent of the population needs to be vaccinated to prevent outbreaks.
Around one in 15 children who catches measles will develop more serious complications like deafness, meningitis or brain damage. One in 5,000 who contracts measles die. The year before the MMR vaccine was introduced, 86,000 children caught measles and 16 died.
The roadshow will visit towns with high numbers of children under five who have a low uptake of the MMR vaccination. Liverpool, Warrington, Manchester, Brighton and Guildford are already experiencing measles outbreaks. Other at-risk areas being targeted include: Leeds, Rotherham, Nottingham, Norwich, Ipswich, Reading and Slough.
For more information about measles and the MMR vaccine, please visit www.immunisation.nhs/vaccines/mmr
Roadshow schedule: 9am to 5pm