Herefordshire Council’s public health team is urging all parents and carers to ensure their children are correctly vaccinated against MMR.
The team is concerned by the latest MMR uptake figures which show that one in ten children have not received their first MMR dose in Herefordshire, while two in ten have not had their second dose, leaving them vulnerable to serious disease.
MMR is the combined vaccine that protects against measles, mumps and rubella. In order to ensure good protection against these three serious diseases, children need to receive the required two doses. The first injection is usually offered within a month of their first birthday while the second is normally before they start school, usually between three and five years of age.
Prof Rod Thomson, director of public health, said: ”Low MMR uptake is a real concern because measles can be a very serious infection. Parents should understand the risks associated with the infection, which in severe cases can result in death.”
Dr Arif Mahmood, public health consultant, said: ”To be fully protected, children need to receive both doses of the vaccine. With a significant number of children in Herefordshire not being fully immunised, the threat of an outbreak is a real concern.
”I would urge parents and carers to check their children’s vaccination records to make sure they are up to date or contact their GP who can advise them on how to make sure their children are fully protected.”