A large outbreak of measles has occurred in Birmingham and we are now seeing measles cases in Sandwell.
Everyone is encouraged to prioritise having the MMR vaccination if they haven’t received it before or have only had one dose. All children are invited for their first MMR vaccine on the NHS from their GP when they turn one. The second dose is given when they reach three years and four months of age.
The UK Health Security Agency has reported that, during this outbreak, children who have been double vaccinated with MMR have experienced no cases of measles.
Babies and small children, pregnant women and people with weakened immunity are at increased risk of serious illness if they catch measles. Anyone of any age who has missed their MMR vaccine can get measles.
The MMR vaccine is safe and effective, two doses of the vaccine protect you. The vaccine is free from the NHS. Adults and children (from the age of 1yr) can be vaccinated, if they have not been fully vaccinated before. A porcine-free version of the vaccine is also available upon request.
Early symptoms include a runny nose, sneezing, a cough, high temperature and sore, red, watery eyes. A rash usually appears on the face and behind the ears a few days after the cold-like symptoms, before it spreads to the rest of the body.
As many as 1 in 20 children who catch measles can end up developing pneumonia with 1 in every 1,000 children dying from complications involving their respiratory system or neurological problems. Pregnant women who contract measles can increase their risk of premature births and stillbirths too.
Most people can easily check their vaccination records by checking their child’s Red Book or contacting their GP.
Councillor Syeda Khatun, Sandwell Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Communities, said:
“Measles is a potentially fatal but preventable disease, so it is concerning the number of cases has increased recently in Sandwell and the surrounding area.
“Please make sure you and your loved ones, young or old, have had the double dose of the MMR Vaccine. Two doses of the vaccine protect you for life and the NHS offers it for free. For those who haven’t had a vaccination, I urge you to make this a priority.”
We have set up pop-up clinics aimed at all eligible children as well as adults up to the age of 25, who are due their vaccine or have missed a dose:
Appointments must be booked before attending the clinic (to ensure they are carrying enough vaccine on the day) by calling on 0121 592 1110.
- Saturday 10 February 2024, 9am - 3pm - West Bromwich Central Family Hub, Off Claypit Lane, West Bromwich, B70 9EZ
- Tuesday 13 February 2024 9am – 3pm, Tesco Cradley, Fox Oak Street, Cradley Health B64 5DF
- Thursday 15 February 2024 9am – 3pm, Tesco West Bromwich, 46 New Square, West Bromwich B70 7PR
Councillor Khatun continues:
“Anyone who has any questions about getting the MMR vaccine or a measles vaccine should contact their GP to try and help reduce the spread of this very contagious, potentially lethal, virus around our communities.”
If you think you or someone you know may have measles, please contact your GP or NHS 111 by phone. It is important to inform any health care setting you may have measles before you arrive so you can be isolated on arrival.
Find out more about measles and the MMR vaccine.