Measles outbreak – UK

Information from the Senior Immunisation Nurses NHS Trust

Measles cases are rising in England this year. There are 128 cases from 1st Jan – 30th June, of which the majority are in London, but cases have been seen in all regions of the UK. The vaccination rate is lower than the 95% target set by WHO and as low as 60% in some areas of the UK.

We are urging parents to check that their children have received the full two dose course of MMR along with their other preschool booster.

With the number of cases rising UKHSA are to declare there is a public health risk and the NHS will be pushing for the uptake of the MMR vaccine as a response to the risk.

We are therefore running immunisation catch up clinics over the summer in order to get children ready and vaccinated for the autumn term and help tackle the outbreak.

The vaccine is very good at providing protection against measles, mumps and rubella. Over 99% of those who have 2 doses of the vaccine will be protected against measles and rubella. Although mumps protection is slightly lower, however cases in vaccinated people are much less severe.

MMR was introduced in the UK in 1988, and it is now rare for children to develop these infections. There have been outbreaks of measles and mumps in recent years. These tend to occur where levels of vaccination are low, but they can happen at any time so it’s important to make sure that you are protected by having 2 doses of MMR vaccine.