At a time of year when babies and children are starting or returning to nursery or school, we’re encouraging all our families to check if their child is at risk of catching a preventable disease because they missed a childhood jab. If you’re not sure if your child has had all their routine vaccinations, check their personal health record (Red Book), or contact your GP surgery.
Vaccines save lives, stop the spread of disease, help fight antimicrobial drug resistance and protect all of us from dangerous infections. Measles vaccination alone has prevented 20 million cases of the illness and stopped 4,500 deaths in the UK. Although most of our families at BWC ensure their children are safe, some people have still missed crucial vaccinations and are therefore left unprotected. Getting up to date is one of the simplest things you can do to look after your child and yourself.
With a recent rise in measles cases, our experts are particularly focussed on ensuring children and young people have had two essential doses of protection against Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR). This first dose is given at one year, with the important second dose being given to children when they are around three to four years old. If you’ve missed one or both jabs, regardless of how long ago they were due, you should arrange to see your GP.
Our Consultant in Public Health Medicine, Dr Christopher Chiswell, said:
“The new school term is a timely reminder of how quickly infectious diseases can spread. Although a cold gets better on its own, there are far more dangerous infections circulating in the West Midlands at the moment that can have tragic consequences.
“Vaccination is well known to be the safest and most reliable way to stop this happening. With the busyness of family life, it can be easy to have missed that life-saving vaccination appointment, but your local health professional will be eager and happy to help you or your child get up to date.”
You can learn more at www.nhs.uk/vaccinations.
The NHS website will answer any questions you might have and show you the full range of vaccines that children and young people in the UK are fortunate to have access to, including the Meningitis ACWY and the HPV vaccine for girls. You’ll also find information on vaccines for those with certain medical conditions, as well as additional protection that’s available for you and your baby if you’re pregnant.