Current MMR vaccine coverage in the NHS routine childhood programme is the lowest it has been in a decade.
The WHO 95% vaccine coverage target is set to prevent outbreaks among populations. In England coverage of 2 MMR doses at age 5 years is around 85%, with about 10% of children in the country left unprotected from measles by the time they are ready to start school, with the rate in London at about 20%
Outside London the risk of large measles outbreaks is low but we could see smaller outbreaks in specific populations, including teenagers, young people and under vaccinated communities.
Between 1 January and 30 June this year there have been 128 cases of measles, compared to 54 cases in the whole of 2022, with 66 per cent of the cases detected in London although cases have been seen in all regions. Those who have never received a measles vaccine (MMR) are at risk
Parents/carers should check their children are fully vaccinated with 2 MMR doses, which gives 99% life-long protection, by checking their red book or with their GP practice, which younger and older adults can also do.
All children at primary school who have missed one or both doses of the MMR vaccine are being offered the opportunity to get up to date at school. Parents of those children will be contacted by the NHS school immunisation service.
Parents of younger children or those who are home-schooled can make an appointment with their GP practice or visit a community clinic
If you think you or your child may have symptoms of measles please call the Practice first for advice; do not come in as measles spreads very easily and can cause serious problems in some people.
UK Health Security Agency Published14 July 2023
For more information see https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/measles/