Measles vaccine drive for young

First published in News Bury Times: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A BURY health boss is urging young people aged between 10 to 16 who may have not had their MMR jab to be immunised after a high number of cases were recorded across England.

Dr Peter Elton is calling on parents who may have chosen not to allow their children to have the injection — because of now discredited fears that the jab could increase the rate of autism — to arrange a vaccination.

Figures published by Public Health England show there were 587 confirmed cases of measles in the first three months of 2013, after a record annual high of almost 2,000 cases in 2012.

In 2012, there were five cases of measles recorded in Bury, and there has been one case so far recorded this year.

Dr Elton, Bury’s director of public health, said: “I would urge the parents of any child who is not fully immunised against measles to contact their general practice to arrange for their child to get the MMR jab.

“Measles is an unpleasant disease but it is not usually dangerous. However, it can occasionally kill or leave children with brain damage.

“Unfortunately there is no way of knowing which child will be safe unless they are fully immunised against measles.”

Cases of measles have risen across Greater Manchester, with 80 confirmed up to March and 159 during 2012.

In Swansea a man has died in the measles epidemic where more than 900 cases have been reported.

A national catch-up programme has now been launched by Public Health England, which is aimed at 10-16 year olds who may have missed out on vaccination in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

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