The council has organised special MMR vaccination catch-up clinics to help tackle an outbreak of measles in Wandsworth.
There have been more than 100 suspected cases of measles reported in Wandsworth since the end of September, mostly among schoolchildren and young adults.
The council has launched a publicity campaign to encourage parents and carers to ensure their child is fully vaccinated, with information sent out via schools, children’s centres, libraries and other settings. Teenagers and young adults are also being encouraged to check their vaccination status.
“The MMR vaccine is the only way to protect children against what is a highly infectious and potentially very serious disease,” said the council’s cabinet member for health and social care, Councillor Melanie Hampton.
“If you want to protect your child and help prevent the disease spreading, make sure they have had both doses of the vaccine. I know people worry about vaccinations, but the MMR has been shown to be completely safe and very effective.
“Over the next few weeks we will be doing all we can to get the message out, and we would encourage all parents and carers whose children have not had both doses of the vaccine, or who are unsure, to contact their GP or attend a clinic. Help us stop measles in its tracks.”
Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine is normally given via two doses at one year old and again from 18 months. Often children miss out on the second dose for various reasons. You or your child will not be fully immunised against measles unless both doses have been received.
The vaccine also protects against mumps, which has seen an increase in cases recently.The clinics will be held at the following locations:
- February 27, 4.15pm-7.15pm, York Gardens Children’s Centre, Lavender Road, Battersea SW11 2UG
- March 5, 3.45pm-6.45pm, Putney Leisure Centre, Dryburgh Road, SW15 1BL
- March 10, 4.15pm-7.15pm, Tooting Leisure Centre, Greaves Place, SW17 0NE
Measles is a highly-infectious viral infection that anyone can catch, including adults. It usually starts with a runny nose, red eyes, cough and temperature. A rash follows, usually about four days after the other symptoms, and lasts for up to seven days.
Complications are common, even in the UK, including severe cough and breathing difficulties, ear, eye and lung infections.
On rare occasions, measles can lead to serious and potentially life-threatening complications It can be particularly serious for children and adults with poor immune systems, pregnant women and infants under one year old.
Photo: Councillor Hampton