Parents urged to get MMR jab for children

Paige Howitt

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PARENTS are being urged to ensure their children are getting both doses of a vaccine to protect them against measles, mumps and rubella.

The MMR vaccination can be given at a GP surgery, but not all parents are getting their children immunised.

According to the primary care trust cluster Ship – which covers Southampton, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and Portsmouth – there were 14 cases of rubella between January and July this year and 36 of mumps.

This compares to zero over the same period in 2011.

For the vaccination to work, children have one shot aged one, and then a second booster jab before they start school.

The cluster said that fewer parents are getting their children in for the booster.

Ruth Milton, spokeswoman for directors of public health in Ship, said: ‘The uptake for MMR1 should be even better but we are most concerned about the MMR2.

‘We need to give 95 per cent of our children this booster to ensure we are doing everything we can to protect children from measles, mumps and rubella.

‘We say 95 per cent as this is herd immunity – where enough of the population is immunised to protect those that aren’t.

‘Parents have an important role to play by making sure they get their children vaccinated when sent reminder letters.

‘Every child requires two doses of the vaccine.’