View Full Version : Early MMR jab available

12-Apr-13, 17:48
Measles can be prevented says NHS Highland nurse consultant

WITH figures showing there are now over 600 cases of measles confirmed in Wales, NHS Highland is taking the opportunity to remind parents about the MMR vaccine which is available for children at 12 months and a second dose at approximately three years and four months.
So far this year there have been six confirmed cases of measles across Scotland, none in Highland but, with travel, especially over the Easter holidays, it only needs one person to return home with measles for it to spread.
Abhayadevi Tissington, Nurse Consultant in Health Protection for NHS Highland, explained that measles is a highly infectious viral illness with symptoms typically including fever, cough, conjunctivitis and a rash.
The complications affect 1 in every 15 children and common ones include ear infections, diarrhoea, chest infections, and fits. There are also more serious complications, and in the UK about 1 in 5000 infected people die.
She said: “Measles can be prevented by immunisation. Children are recommended to have two doses – the first at 12 months of age, and the second at around 3 years 4 months. Uptake of the vaccine across NHS Highland is good, and over 95% of children have had at least one dose by the time they are five years old. However, we do know that uptake of the MMR vaccine was lower when those who are now teenagers were due to be immunised, so this age group is at more risk of infection.”
NHS Highland has been working in partnership with the Highland Council and has been offering the MMR vaccination to school pupils in S3-6.
Ms Tissington said: “In academic year 2011/12 we offered MMR to pupils in S3 who were having their routine school leaving booster and who had no record of having received MMR. This has been extended in the current academic year to pupils in S3-6 with pupils receiving an information booklet and consent form. However, very few have taken up this offer.
She added: “MMR vaccine is the safest and most effective way to protect your child not only against measles but mumps and rubella too. Uptake has certainly increased over the years but we would encourage anyone who has not been vaccinated in the past and who would like to be protected to contact their local GP. It is never too late”