April 25, 2013 1.40 pm This story is over 133 months old

MMR jab campaign to vaccinate Lincolnshire children against measles

Keeping safe: Up to 10,000 Lincolnshire children are being offered the MMR jab in a new four-month long campaign to prevent a measles outbreak in the county.

Up to 10,000 Lincolnshire children between 10 and 16 are being offered the MMR jab in a new four-month long campaign.

The campaign is to avoid a potential outbreak of measles after more than 880 cases have been confirmed in the Swansea outbreak and one death.

There were only eight cases of measles in Lincolnshire during the whole of 2012, but there were five cases from January to March 2013.

Measles is a highly infectious viral illness which can be very unpleasant and possibly lead to serious complications, including blindness and even death.

The illness is now rare in the UK due to the effectiveness of the MMR vaccination, but experts believe the recent rise in measles cases is mostly because of the number of children who missed out on immunization in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

In that period, some parents stopped immunising their children due to the controversy around the vaccine stirred by a study, which was later described as “the most damaging medical hoax of the last 100 years”.

Dr Tony Hill, Director of Public Health in Lincolnshire, advised in a video: “Well over 90% of parents are immunising their children, but we do need more than that.

“It’s not just about children who are due the vaccine at the moment, but also about children who missed out in the past, right up to teenagers.

“Children would normally be immunised at about a year old for their first dose, and just before they go to school for their second dose.

“It is important for long-term protection children have two doses, although one dose gives very good protection in the short term.”

If you are unsure whether you or your children have had two doses of the vaccination, contact your GP who will have a record.

[button url=”http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/vaccinations/Pages/mmr-questions-answers.aspx” title=”NHS Choinces”]NHS Choices: MMR vaccine FAQ[/button]