Solihull Health and Wellbeing Board partners have unanimously agreed to support a call encouraging parents to get their children vaccinated against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR).
Children’s vaccine uptake has been slowly decreasing across England since 2012-13, meaning that children have missed out and may remain vulnerable to serious or even fatal infections.
In Solihull, almost 5,500 children aged 1-18 have either had no MMR vaccine or been under-vaccinated because they have only had one of the two recommended doses.
Chair of Solihull Health and Wellbeing Board, Cllr Karen Grinsell, who is also deputy leader of Solihull Council, said: “We take this issue very seriously. We are seeing an increase in measles outbreaks in Solihull. Measles can cause blindness, long term disability and death. We’ll be working with our schools to get the message out and will be supporting the national campaign #vaccineswork with our local partners.
Cllr Grinsell continued: “During the summer season we are also urging 15-to-25-year-olds to check their vaccines are up to date. Anyone who hasn’t been fully vaccinated is at risk as they attend their first festivals, travel to countries with ongoing measles outbreaks or start university.”
Dr Peter Ingham, Vice Chair of Solihull Health and Wellbeing Board explained: “The free MMR vaccine is a safe and effective way of protecting against measles, as well as mumps and rubella.
He continued: “The first MMR vaccine is given when the child is 1 year old, with a pre-school booster at 3 years 4 months of age. Both doses are required to achieve maximum protection. If children and young adults have missed these vaccinations, it’s not too late. I would urge parents to check your child’s Red Book to see if they’ve received MMR vaccinations as scheduled, or speak to your GP surgery if you’re unsure.”
For more information about the MMR vaccine visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/mmr-vaccine/