PARENTS in Solihull are still being urged to vaccinate their children against mumps, measles and rubella.
It follows NHS chiefs’ concerns in August that not enough primary school children were getting the vaccine.
Before the start of term, NHS Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group said around 11.2 per cent, around 291, of school starters in the borough had not received both doses according to Public Health England (PHE) estimates.
Officials say that if your child isn’t vaccinated, they are vulnerable to contracting mumps, measles and rubella, which can have long lasting affects to their health. These diseases can spread easily, and can sometimes even be fatal.
They add that choosing not to have your child vaccinated doesn’t just affect them as an individual; the diseases are highly contagious, and can affect vulnerable people wherever they go.
Kirsten, a mum from Solihull, said: “We took my son to our GP who confirmed that he’d got a mild dose of the measles, but fortunately because he’d been vaccinated, it was only a very mild dose and we were grateful that we had had him vaccinated.
“There are so many things that you can’t protect your children against; you can protect them against these three potentially serious diseases.”
Caroline, another mum from Birmingham, said: “I had mumps as a child, and it was absolutely horrible, and I wouldn’t want to put my child through that.
“As a parent, you really do want to make sure your child is protected.”
Health officials at PHE are calling on parents to check their child’s Red Book to ensure their children are up-to-date with scheduled immunisations.
The public health body say 95 per cent of the population needs to be immunised to achieve ‘herd immunity’ – protecting the public at large.
In the UK, dose one of the MMR vaccine is usually given to infants at around 12 months of age.
A second dose is given before school, usually at three years and four months of age, to ensure best protection.
For a person to be considered fully protected PHE say two doses of MMR in a lifetime are needed.
The 4-in-1 pre-school booster is also usually offered at three years and four months of age and protects against diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus and polio.
Dr Richard Mendelsohn, chief medical officer at NHS Birmingham and Solihull CCG, said: “Prevention is always better than cure. The MMR vaccine is a free, combined injection which helps protect children against three very serious diseases.
“The first vaccine is given when a child is 12 months old, and then a booster is given when a child is 3 years and 4 months old. Both doses are needed to give full protection, and I would urge parents in Birmingham and Solihull to vaccinate their children.”
More information on the MMR vaccine is available on the nhs.uk website.
If in any doubt, contact your GP practice, the NHS advises.