Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine catch up campaign
You may be aware parts of the UK and Europe are seeing an increase in measles cases. Measles is highly infectious, can have serious complications and can be life threatening. Evidence is clear that the MMR vaccine is the safest way to help protect your child against measles, mumps and rubella. To help protect your child and others the Public Health Agency (PHA) advise ensuring you are fully vaccinated with MMR.
Measles can cause very serious illness
Measles usually causes a runny nose, red eyes, cough, high temperature and rash. It can also cause complications including ear infections, diarrhoea, pneumonia and convulsions. It is more likely to be serious in pregnant women, people whose immunity is not working properly and babies under a year of age. Very serious complications, such as inflammation of the brain (encephalitis) are rare, but can be fatal.
Measles spreads very easily
Measles is one of the most infectious diseases known. You can catch measles if you spend 15 minutes in the same room with someone who has the disease, or even less time if you are in direct contact. The measles virus is spread through the air and in tiny droplets that come out of the nose and mouth of an infected person.
The MMR vaccine is given in two doses as part of the childhood vaccination programme. The first dose is given just after your child’s first birthday and a second dose is given at 3 years and 4 months, before your child starts school
Two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine provides the best protection against measles.
Even if you may have previously declined vaccination we want to offer you the opportunity to get vaccinated to protect you against Measles infection.
MMR Catch up
Your GP will be running catch up for children aged 12 months to 5 years who have missed their vaccines. You will be contacted by your GP should your child be identified as requiring one or two doses of the MMR vaccine.
Your local Health and Social Care Trust is running an MMR vaccine catch up campaign for those aged 6 to 25 years of age. The campaign will run from 5th February 2024 until 31st March 2024. For further information go to www.nidirect.gov.uk/mmr-catch-up
Anyone can get measles if they haven’t been vaccinated or they haven’t had it before, although it’s most common in young children.
Adults and older children can be vaccinated at any age if they haven’t been fully vaccinated before.
Measles is very infectious so it is important that anyone with suspected measles avoids any situation where they can spread the disease, such as a GP’s waiting room or an emergency department waiting room. People should therefore phone there GP, out of hours service and phone first for A&E in advance and get advice rather than turning up to these venues Phone First FAQs – DOH/HSCNI Strategic Planning and Performance Group (SPPG).