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Vaccine drive as measles cases rise

Practice nurses are set to see an influx of children needing the MMR jab after the Health Protection Agency (HPA) revealed measles cases have more than trebled.

The HPA said that up until 10 June this year, there had been 136 confirmed cases of measles. But as of now, just over 11 weeks later, there have been 480 infections.

And there were only 756 cases during the whole of 2006, which itself was the highest year on record.

Parents are now being urged to get their children vaccinated as soon as possible.

Dr Mary Ramsay, a consultant epidemiologist at the HPA, said: "Over the summer holidays we have seen more cases of measles being reported than we would normally expect.

"This means it is crucial that children are fully immunised with two doses of MMR before they return to school.

"Public confidence in the MMR vaccine continues to remain high as the uptake for those receiving their first dose has stayed stable.

"However, it is also important to remember that children should complete their full course of MMR vaccine.

"In January to March 2007, uptake of the MMR vaccine was at 88% for the first dose, but only 75% for the second dose."


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Clinical Zone: Children's health