Hackney Council,

Protect your children against measles with the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine

Measles cases are on the rise in London. With low levels of immunisation coverage across London, in particular within City & Hackney, it is more important than ever to ensure you and your children are vaccinated.

Measles is one of the world’s most contagious diseases, spread by close or direct contact with an infected person via coughing or sneezing. One person infected by measles can infect nine out of 10 of their unvaccinated close contacts. Contacts of someone with measles that are not fully immunised may be required to isolate for up to 21 days. 

Dr Sandra Husbands, Director of Public Health for Hackney and the City

‘While measles can be mild for some children, one in five will require a hospital visit. Measles can cause severe illness, including meningitis, disability and, in rare occasions, death.

The good news is, two doses of the MMR vaccine provides lifelong protection. The measles vaccine has been in use for about 60 years, is safe and effective and has reduced cases by 99% in the UK. It also provides protection against mumps and rubella.’

Dr Sandra Husbands, Director of Public Health for Hackney and the City

Everyone, especially parents of young children and teenagers, are being urged to check they are up to date with their MMR vaccines. It’s never too late to catch-up and you can get the MMR vaccine for free on the NHS whatever your age.

How to get your child vaccinated 

Young children are offered the MMR vaccine as part of the NHS immunisation programme. 

The first dose of MMR vaccine is normally given when your child is 12 months old.  The second dose of MMR is given before school starts at 3 years 4 months and both are recorded in your child's immunisation Red book. If your child has not been vaccinated on time, call your GP to arrange a catch up appointment. 

There are a high number of children who have not had both vaccinations before starting school, therefore there will be children who are not fully vaccinated either starting school or returning to school, making outbreaks more likely as children start mixing again.

Vaccination UK will be commencing a MMR catch-up programme in primary schools within Hackney at the start of the 23/24 school year. Parents are encouraged to return consent forms to help protect their children and communities from measles. 

You can also book an appointment directly with your GP Practice to get caught up with vaccines as soon as possible.

More information about the MMR vaccine can be found on the NHS website and this FAQs page.

Information about childhood immunisations in general is available here