Although most children in Sandwell are fully vaccinated, there has been a significant drop in the number of parents and carers getting their children vaccinated against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), and other childhood vaccines start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Health chiefs at Sandwell Council are raising the importance of the vaccination programme and encouraging parents and guardians to get their children vaccinated.
Now, more than one in ten eligible children under the age of five in England haven’t had both MMR vaccines, or are only partially vaccinated.
Measles is very contagious and can be quite unpleasant. It can even cause very serious complications, even in otherwise fit and healthy people.
The concern is that even a small decline in uptake of the MMR vaccination could lead to a rise in cases. And as international travel resumes, there’s more chance for measles to be brought in from other countries where it’s more common.
Vaccinations remain the best defence against infection. The MMR vaccine is safe and effective. We require two doses of the MMR vaccination so it’s very important that children attend their routine vaccination appointments.
If any have been missed for any reasons, GP surgeries can be contacted to book a vaccine appointment. It’s never too late to catch up and you’re never too old to get MMR vaccines.
Councillor Suzanne Hartwell, Sandwell’s cabinet member for adults, social care and health said:
“Some people dismiss measles, mumps and rubella as just childhood diseases that everyone easily gets over, but this is simply untrue. Measles, for instance, can lead to serious illness such as pneumonia and life-long hearing loss which is why I would urge every parent or guardian to get in touch with their GP and get their child vaccinated.”
Dr Lisa McNally, Director of Public Health at Sandwell said:
“To protect themselves, their siblings and the wider community we need to have 95% of people vaccinated with MMR. Measles is a dangerous disease and the more people who have the MMR vaccine, the safer we all are”.
You can find out more about the MMR and other vaccinations via the NHS website