With one in ten children in England not up to date with their vaccinations and at risk of becoming seriously unwell, we are encouraging you to make sure you and your family are up to date with your routine vaccinations at all life stages.
In particular, we are asking all parents to check if your children are up to date with their MMR vaccines to protect them against measles, mumps and rubella. To become fully protected children need two doses, the first at age one year and the second at 3 years 4 months.
- The Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) combination vaccine is safe and has been used since the early 1980s.
- Measles vaccination has saved on average 81 lives per year
- It is never too late to catch up on any missed doses of MMR vaccination
- Vaccination is the only way to protect a child from becoming seriously unwell from preventable diseases such as measles
- It is not only children at risk; if women become ill with rubella whilst pregnant, baby is at risk of being born blind, deaf and with congenital heart disease
- As with other vaccinations, people may have some side effects when having a vaccination. This is perfectly normal and usually quite mild
The World Health Organisation (WHO) have predicted a rise in measles cases across Europe in 2023-24, making it more important than ever to make sure that your child is fully protected. Measles can make a child seriously unwell and can lead to pneumonia with rare long-lasting conditions such as blindness and brain damage.
What should I do?
- If your child has missed their first or second dose of MMR vaccine contact your GP practice to book an appointment. Whilst booking your child’s MMR vaccine, check if your child is due other vaccinations. They may be able to have them at the same time
- If you are unsure if your child is due a vaccination or has missed a vaccination check their red book or contact your GP practice.
How do vaccinations work?
Watch the video below to learn how vaccines work inside the body to build immunity to infectious diseases like measles.
How do I know what vaccines are necessary
Normally you or your child will be invited or reminded when routine vaccinations are due. This might be by post (letter), SMS or e-mail, or a combination of the three.
If you’re not sure or would like to check, use the links below to download an easy-to-digest summary for both children and adult vaccination schedules. You can also ask at your GP practice.
For more information on the NHS vaccination schedule, pleaseLearn more about NHS vaccinations and when to have them Learn more about the MMR vaccine