Cheshire and Merseyside encouraged to get ‘safe and effective’ vaccine to fend off measles

Health leaders across Cheshire and Merseyside have joined forces to remind those not fully vaccinated to come forward and catch up on any missed doses of the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccination, amid a continued climb in measles cases in the UK.

The subregion’s nine Directors of Public Health, as well as the Director of Population Health, who work together as the Champs Public Health Collaborative, are reminding parents of children who have missed their vaccines or are due a catch up, as well as adults who have not been vaccinated, that it’s not too late and that the MMR vaccine is safe and effective.

This comes at a time of a steep increase of measles cases in the country. A national campaign has been launched to increase the vaccination rates amongst children as quickly as possible. The campaign launched a few weeks ago and has been very successful, with the local health system reporting an increase in vaccination rates in March.

Dr Matt Tyrer, Director of Public Health for Cheshire East Council and Cheshire and Merseyside’s Lead Director for Health Protection, said:

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“It is vital that parents of unvaccinated children and those who are eligible for the MMR vaccine and have not yet had it, or missed doses, book themselves in for their vaccination as soon as possible. Not only will this give them the best possible chance of staying healthy if they come into contact with the disease but will also create greater immunity for our local community. It is a simple fact that measles is preventable.  We should not be seeing an increase in cases in this country and ensuring that we’re all vaccinated is the best way of getting rid of this disease for good.”

Professor Rowan Pritchard-Jones, Medical Director at NHS Cheshire and Merseyside, said:

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“Measles is a highly infectious illness that spreads very easily between unvaccinated people and can cause life changing complications including deafness and swelling of the brain. It usually starts with cold-like symptoms, followed by a rash a few days later, and can result in children being off school for a long period of time, being hospitalised or some cases, death. No parent would want to see their child being admitted to hospital with measles when a very safe and effective vaccine exists. I would strongly encourage those who are not vaccinated to get their appointment booked as soon as possible.”

Parents and carers can book their child’s MMR vaccine appointment by contacting their GP surgery. If they are unsure of their child’s vaccination status, they can check their Red Book or ask their GP.

Adults who have not had two doses of the MMR vaccine can also contact their GP surgery for a vaccination appointment, as well as check their vaccination status. If your vaccination records are not available, or do not exist, it will not harm you to have the MMR vaccine again.

Some pharmacies in Cheshire and Merseyside are also offering the MMR vaccination, as well as the Living Well bus which will be present in areas across Cheshire and Merseyside.

To find a pharmacy, visit the NHS England website.

To find out where the Living Well bus will be, visit the Cheshire and Wirral Partnership website.

To find out more about the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine, visit the NHS website.

To find out more about the Champs Public Health Collaborative, visit the Champs website.

To find out more about NHS Cheshire and Merseyside, visit our website.