Local Fight Back Against Measles

As borough launches its catch-up MMR jab campaign

A catch-up campaign has been launched to help prevent a measles outbreak in Wandsworth.

NHS England is currently working on plans to identify and give the MMR jab to un-vaccinated and partially-vaccinated ten to 16 year olds through GP practices and schools. Parents of these children will receive invitations from their GPs for the MMR.

And information is being sent to all borough schools to help parents be aware of the danger and what they can do to prevent their child getting the disease. This information is also available on the council website.

Wandsworth's director of public health, Houda Al-Sharifi, has previously warned that the outbreak could easily spread to London and cause infections in Wandsworth, and has urged parents to ensure their children get the MMR jab.

London traditionally has a lower rate of immunisation take up because it has a transient population and a higher number of people from other countries living here. Following the now-discredited paper linking the MMR vaccine with autism, the number of children being immunised against measles plummeted to 52 per cent in Wandsworth in 2003/4.

The rate has now picked up to 80 per cent, but Mrs Al-Sharifi has warned this is still not enough to prevent the spread of measles in the borough.

If you are worried about measles and are unsure whether you or your child have had the MMR jab contact your GP to double check and arrange an appointment if necessary.

You can also get the MMR jab for children under 19 at one of Wandsworth's out-of-hours community immunisation clinics:

  • St John's Therapy Centre every Wednesday between 3 pm and 6.40pm
  • Balham Health Centre every Saturday between 11am and 12noon

And you can call the local Immunisation hotline on 020 8812 6090 or visit www.wandsworth.gov.uk/fis.

For more on the MMR vaccine, including information in other languages, visit the NHS Choices website.

April 30, 2013