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Call to vaccinate children against measles

HUNDREDS of Cheshire youngsters have been vaccinated against measles in a bid to halt an outbreak of the disease and health chiefs are urging more young people to get protected.

HUNDREDS of Cheshire youngsters have been vaccinated against measles in a bid to halt an outbreak of the disease and health chiefs are urging more young people to get protected.

Latest figures from the Health Protection Agency North West reveal that 111 measles cases were reported in the area since the beginning of October. Eleven of the young people needed treatment in hospital.

Mr Guy Hayhurst, consultant in public health with Central and Eastern Cheshire Primary Care Trust (CEC PCT), said: “The fact that 11 children needed hospital treatment shows that measles is not to be taken lightly.”

Mr Hayhurst said that early in the outbreak, CEC PCT identified around 10,500 children in the area who had no record of having an MMR jab.

He added: “We sought parental consent to immunise these children and since Monday, December 3, teams of nurses have vaccinated approximately 2,300 of them in their schools, which is a great achievement.”

But there are still many unprotected and Mr Hayhurst said: “Ideally, children should be given a first dose of MMR at age 13 months and a second dose at the age of three-and-a-half. But as we’ve been stressing since the start of this outbreak, anyone up to the age of 18 is entitled to MMR vaccination on the NHS and this can be arranged by contacting their family doctor.”

 

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