May 7, 2013 10.40 am This story is over 131 months old

GPs call for Lincolnshire children to get MMR jab

Staying healthy: Parents with unvaccinated children are being encouraged to get the MMR jab from their local GP.

Due to a recent increase in measles cases across the country, Lincolnshire County Council and GPs are encouraging parents of unvaccinated or partially-vaccinated children to get the MMR jab.

As part of a catch-up campaign for 10 to 16-year-olds by government, Public Health England and Lincolnshire County Council are sending letters to parents.

The letters will only be sent to parents with children who are not fully vaccinated, inviting them to get the MMR jab at their local GP surgery.

It takes two doses of MMR to be fully vaccinated against measles. It is thought around 10,000 children in Lincolnshire have not received any or all of the doses.

If children have had measles in the past, they should still have the measles vaccine.

Dr Tony Hill, Director of Public Health at the County Council, said: “Measles is a very serious and highly infectious illness.

“The best way to prevent an outbreak in Lincolnshire is to ensure children and young people have had both doses of the MMR vaccine that they need.

“GPs will be writing to parents of those aged 10 to 16, as this age group has a low take-up of the vaccine and has seen an increase in cases of measles as a result. However, if anyone is unsure if they have been vaccinated we strongly urge them to ask their General Practitioner.

“If you have chosen not to have the vaccination for yourself or your child in the past, it’s not too late to change your mind and have it now. Vaccinations are safe and effective.”

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”.