Are your children vaccinated?

Published: Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Now that children have returned to school, parents and carers are being urged to check that they are protected against measles.

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Many children starting school for the first time or moving up to secondary school can be vulnerable to catching infectious diseases if they are not fully immunised.

Measles is a highly infectious and very serious disease, it starts with cold-like symptoms that develop about ten days after becoming infected. This is followed a few days later by the measles rash. The virus can be life threatening, leading to ear and chest infections, fits, diarrhoea and damage to the brain. Figures show an increase in cases across the country including Wandsworth. 

Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine is normally given via two doses at one year old and again at three-and-a-half years old, often children miss out on the second dose for various reasons. Your child will not be fully immunised against measles if they have not received both doses.

If your child has not received the MMR vaccine or missed the second dose this can be provided by your local GP free on the NHS.

The Wandsworth School Age Immunisation Team are also able to offer the MMR vaccine. Information on this will be included in the letter all parents and carers receive when their child is in Year 8 (for the human papilloma virus vaccine) and Year 9 (for the meningitis vaccine called MenACWY, and DPT for diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus).

To give your consent for your child to receive the MMR, contact your school or request a consent form from the Wandsworth School Age Immunisation Team – email hrch.immunisationteammailboxwandsworth@nhs.net or call (020) 3903 3374.

The team is also running catch-up sessions at the following times and locations:

  • October 21, 10.30am – 2pm, Southmead Children’s Centre, Southfields
  • November 14, December 19, January 9, 3.15pm-4.30pm, York Garden’s Children’s Centre, Battersea

They will target Year 8 and 9 but will be happy to do vaccination for children aged one year plus and young people who have missed one or both of their MMRs. For these sessions please book an appointment a few days before using the Immunisation Team contact details above.

Cabinet member for health and social care Cllr Melanie Hampton said: “Measles isn’t a harmless childhood disease and some people go on to develop very serious complications so please make sure you and your children are fully immunised.

“It’s never too late to catch up with vaccinations. Your GP will answer any questions you may have, and will provide the vaccine free of charge.”

For more information on Measles and MMR visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/measles