Is your child starting school in September? Make sure they’re vaccinated

Several children in schools across South Yorkshire caught measles last September. With an increased risk of catching this highly infectious illness, in environments such as school, Sheffield City Council are asking parents, to make sure their children have had two doses of the measles mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine before they start school in September.

781 cases of measles have been reported in the parts of the UK, including 73 in Yorkshire and Humber since January 2018.

Greg Fell, Director of Public Health at Sheffield City Council said: “Measles is a highly infectious viral illness that can be very unpleasant and sometimes lead to serious complications.

“The only effective way to protect yourself is through vaccination. Two doses of the MMR vaccine is the only way of preventing the disease, helping to protect the whole community, including babies and vulnerable children who cannot be vaccinated.”

Councillor Jackie Drayton, cabinet member for children and families at Sheffield City Council added: “We want to make sure that all pre-school children are vaccinated before they start school. If you are unsure what to do please contact your GP – who is there to help.”

Dr Tupper, GP at Firth Park surgery added: “As parents we want the best for our children especially when it comes to their health. A key part of this is immunising your children against preventable disease. With the recent outbreaks of measles it is vital that children are given 2 doses of the MMR vaccination.

“If you are unsure if your child has received two doses of the MMR by the time they start school or if they are already at school please contact your GP surgery for advice and treatment.”

MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine is routinely given at 1 year of age, with a second dose at around 3 years and 5 months, as part of the NHS Childhood Immunisation Programme. Parents can check their child’s red book to see if they have received two MMR vaccinations as scheduled, or check with their GP surgery if unsure.