Hundreds of children in Kent
and Medway miss out on the second jab to protect them against measles, mumps
and rubella (MMR).
Now NHS Kent and Medway is
reminding parents to check that children, especially those starting school this
autumn, are fully vaccinated.
Dr Faiza Khan, Consultant in
Public Health for NHS Kent and Medway, said: “Take-up rates for MMR
immunisation in Kent and Medway are higher than the national average but
we would like even more children to be protected.
"While between 93.1 and
95.6 per cent of children have their first MMR dose by the time they are two,
the rate for the second MMR jab, given before the fifth birthday, is between
88.9 and 91.5 per cent.
"This is better than the
England average of 86.9 per cent but still means around 1,200 children in
Kent and 350 in Medway miss out on their second MMR vaccination each year.
"It may be that parents
are busy and forget about this vaccination or that they do not realise how
important it is.
"Both doses of the
vaccination are needed to give children maximum protection against these
serious diseases, and reduce the risk of outbreaks.
"Parents will be
thinking about everything they need to do to make sure their four-year-olds are
ready for that important first day at school. As part of that, we would urge
them to ensure they have had all their vaccinations.”
The first MMR immunisation is
given within one month of the child’s first birthday. The second dose should be
given between the ages of three years and four months and five years, or before
the child starts school.
Parents of children whose MMR
vaccinations are not up-to-date should make an appointment at their GP
Even if your child has missed
a vaccination, or is older than the recommended age, it is not too late to
For more information, please
speak to your GP practice or health visiting team.
14 August 2012