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Health chiefs urge parents to vaccinate children against measles

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Dudley health chiefs are encouraging parents to get their children vaccinated against measles after statistics showed the lowest level of vaccination rates in a decade.

The latest data from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) suggests more than one in ten eligible children under the age of five in England are unvaccinated or only partially vaccinated with the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine.

91.6% of children under the age of five in Dudley borough have received both MMR doses. While this figure is above the 85.5% regional average for the West Midlands, some youngsters are not yet fully protected.

Councillor Nicolas Barlow, cabinet member for health and adult social care, said:

The MMR vaccine is safe and highly effective. Millions of doses have been given to infants and children in the UK and all around the world.
I would encourage parents to make an appointment for their child when it is due and help us to avoid harmful measles outbreaks in Dudley borough.

Karen Wright, director of public health at Dudley Council, said:

These new national statistics are worrying. Measles is highly infectious and the recent drop in vaccine coverage increases the risk of outbreaks occurring in schools and nurseries across the country.
Vaccination is the best line of defence against measles, which can lead to serious complications in children. We are asking parents to make sure their children are protected with both doses of the MMR vaccine at the right time.

All children are invited for their first MMR vaccine after their first birthday, then for their second dose aged three years and four months.

Doses of the MMR vaccine can be booked by contacting your local GP, who will arrange for the shots to be delivered in a COVID-secure environment.

For more information on the MMR vaccination programme, please visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/mmr-vaccine/

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