Walsall parents urged to ensure children get MMR vaccination

Parents and carers in Walsall are being urged to get their children vaccinated against measles, mumps and rubella.

Measles is a highly infectious disease which can lead to serious complications if it is not treated. In the most severe cases, it can develop into more threatening conditions such as pneumonia, especially in those with a weakened immune system. Symptoms of measles include a high fever, rash, cough, runny nose, watery eyes. 

All children are invited for their first MMR vaccine on the NHS when they turn one. The second dose is given when they reach three years and four months of age. Having two doses of the vaccine provides the best protection against MMR.

Nadia Inglis, Interim Director of Public Health at Walsall Council said:

“Routine vaccinations like the MMR vaccine play an important role in giving you or your child the best protection. I really encourage anyone, including parents and carers with children, to come forward as soon as possible. You can easily catch up if you have missed your doses.

“Measles, mumps and rubella are viral infections which can spread quickly and make children very unwell. We have seen a number of measles cases being reported across the West Midlands recently.  Two doses of the MMR vaccine provide the maximum protection for you or your child. The vaccination is free on the NHS.

“We’ve been working closely with some of our communities in recent months to provide up-to-date and accurate information about the MMR vaccination. This has proven to encourage individuals and families across Walsall to have a chat with trusted community leaders about getting vaccinated.”

In September 2023, the Council’s Public Health team launched a project to work with community groups across the borough to increase awareness about measles, mumps and rubella and encourage conversations about getting vaccinated. They have worked with Old Hall People’s Partnership and Simple Steps Training.

Old Hall People’s Partnership:

“We have been able to increase awareness around MMR during our sessions and we have had positive responses from attendees, who have come back to join other activities that we offer. Residents appear to be at ease knowing that we are here and can encourage positive conversations around vaccinations with people of all ages. In addition, feedback shows that residents are reassured that we are able to run these sessions, so they can ask questions and receive information that they are unable to get elsewhere.”

Simple Steps Training

“Being able to offer awareness sessions around MMR vaccinations has proven very popular amongst our ladies' groups. To date, we have had two children and one adult take the vaccination offer by the NHS. This would have not been possible without the information the sessions provided. The ladies are now better equipped through knowledge and understanding to make better informed decisions around their family's health.”

Parents who are unsure if their child is up to date with all their routine vaccinations should check their child’s Red Book (personal child health record), the NHS App, or contact their GP practice. 

Adults and older children can also be vaccinated at any age if they have not been fully vaccinated before and are being encouraged to come forward if they haven’t had two doses.

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

You can watch a series of videos featuring Dr Fiona Rose explaining what MMR is and the importance of the vaccine on YouTube Here. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1QCXsROyAYw96HwoN1ueR7beI0i0MjBr

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