Measles cases are rising in England this year. There were 128 cases from 1st Jan – 30th June, of which the majority were in London, this is not expected to be higher. The vaccination rate is lower than the 95% target set by WHO and as low as 60% in some areas of London.
UKHSA have predicted that the risk in London is high this year and cases could rise to between 40k and 160k due to low uptake of the MMR and the number of cases being imported and spread.
The overall risk to England is low, but there are cases of measles in every region and numbers are rising. UKHSA suggest that without intervention cases will continue to rise in all regions.
Why are babies given the MMR vaccine at 1 year, plus 3 years and 4 months?
MMR at 1 year
Newborn babies have antibodies passed on from their mother at birth. This helps protect them for a short time against measles, mumps and rubella. These antibodies make the MMR vaccine less effective if it’s given to a newborn. By the time a child is 1 year old, the antibodies are almost gone, and the MMR vaccine will be effective.
MMR at 3 years and 4 months
The 2nd dose is given at around 3 years and 4 months, before a child starts school. Having both doses gives long-lasting protection against measles, mumps and rubella.
Please check if your child is up-to-date with all their primary immunisations.
If you are not sure, please check the red-book, contact our practice or your health visitor.