According to the Staffordshire Observatory, during 2017 – 2018 in Staffordshire, there was only a 91.2% uptake for the first dose of the NHS MMR vaccine. As a result, around 750 babies in Staffordshire were not vaccinated against measles, mumps or rubella, creating a higher risk for younger babies and pregnant women.
Two doses of the MMR vaccine is needed to protect against the very infectious diseases of measles, mumps and rubella (German Measles) to stop the potentially fatal side effects which the diseases give you.
Initial symptoms of measles include a cold, sore eyes, fever and small grey and white spots inside your mouth, which can then lead to further complications such as brain and lung infections. When infected with measles, coughing or sneezing can be spreading the virus.
Symptoms include painful swelling on the side of your face under your ears, headache, joint pain and high temperature. A serious complication of mumps is viral meningitis. You can spread mumps through coughing and sneezing. As a result, mumps can be very contagious.
The main symptom of rubella is a pink, spotty rash. Other symptoms include swollen glands, aching joints, cold-like symptoms and a high temperature. If you catch rubella whilst pregnant you may be at risk of miscarriage or your baby being born with serious problems to their sight, hearing, heart or brain. You can spread Rubella through coughing or sneezing.
Why is it important to have the MMR vaccine?
MMR is not only important to protect your child from illnesses such as measles, mumps and rubella but getting your child vaccinated also protects others. The MMR vaccine isn’t given until your child is 12 – 15 months and so before this time they are vulnerable to catching these conditions. If other children are vaccinated your child is less likely to be infected by measles, mumps or rubella.
Is Autism linked to the MMR vaccine?
According to the National Autistic Society, there is no clear link between Autism and the MMR vaccine. A lot of detailed research has been carried out to come to this conclusion since the original research report, which was found to be false. The man who wrote the original report was found guilty of serious professional misconduct in 2010 where he was removed from the medical register and the research was fully discredited.
What are the risks of the MMR vaccine?
You may have some temporary side effects from the vaccine, however these are harmless and will disappear in a few days. These side effects may include a mild non-infectious form of measles that can last for 2-3 days. You may also show mild symptoms of mumps that are not contagious for 1-2 days. Very rarely you may see a small rash of bruise like spots a few weeks after the vaccine. If you have any other concerns about the vaccine, please contact your GP.
Where can I get the MMR vaccine for my child?
Get your child their MMR vaccine by booking in with your GP. You can also book in your child’s second MMR vaccine at the GP practice, this will be at around 3 years and 4 months.
Is the MMR vaccine free on the NHS?
Both MMR vaccine doses are a part of your baby’s NHS vaccination schedule. Therefore, the vaccine is free on the NHS when booked in with your GP.
What should I do if my baby is showing symptoms of measles, mumps or rubella?
If your baby or child is showing symptoms of measles, mumps or rubella you should phone your GP surgery. Do not go to an A&E, Walk-in Centre or GP if you think your child has one of these conditions. Because of the illnesses being highly contagious, you should consult with a health professional such as your GP over the phone. Alternatively, phone 101 to find out what your next step should be.