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Lanarkshire parents urged to get their children the MMR vaccine

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 11:05 GMT on Friday, 19th April, 2013.
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PARENTS across Lanarkshire have been urged to get their children inoculated with the MMR vaccine with parents who have previously refused the MMR vaccine for their children, being urged to take up the offer of the jab.

The Lanarkshire health board’s appeal comes as parents in South Wales are requesting the Measles Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine after a measles outbreak in the area, with cases of measles in South Wales not up to 700, with an increase predicted. 

MMR is the combined vaccine that protects against measles, mumps and rubella (German measles). 

Measles is a highly infectious viral illness, which can be very unpleasant and possibly lead to serious complications; including blindness and even death. Anyone can get measles if they haven't been vaccinated. 

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Dr David Cromie, consultant in public health medicine, said: “It is very encouraging that MMR vaccine uptake rates for two year old children are at the highest they have ever been in Lanarkshire and Scotland, with over 95 per cent of children having the jab.

“In Lanarkshire, we have had a small number of confirmed cases of measles in the past year but the spread has been contained by high levels of MMR vaccination.

“However, some older children and young adults remain unprotected against measles, mumps and rubella.

“Since the number of cases of measles may rise across the UK, I would encourage parents or guardians of children over six years old who have not had the vaccine, to protect their child by having the jab. The MMR vaccine is available from your GP practice.”

To be fully protected against measles, mumps and rubella you need two separate doses of the MMR vaccine, at least one month apart. One dose of MMR gives around 90% chance of protection, whereas two doses give 99% protection.

The first dose is usually given when your child is between 12 and 13 months, and then from three years and four months of age. Although the vaccine is usually given at these times, it can be given at any age if the vaccine has been missed.

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