‘Make sure children are vaccinated against measles’

PARENTS in Mid-Ulster should ensure their child gets the best start in life by receiving all their immunisations, particularly the MMR.

That’s the message from the Public Health Agency (PHA) which is marking European Immunisation Week (April 22 to 27) by urging parents to not be complacent when it comes to the MMR and measles.

Dr Lorraine Doherty, Assistant Director of Public Health, at the PHA, said measles is a highly infectious disease which spreads very easily, particularly in schools and universities.

“It is never too late to get your child immunised with two doses of the MMR vaccine. We cannot stress enough that measles is serious and in some cases it can be fatal. Delaying immunisation puts children at risk,” she said.

The PHA is also highlighting to parents the importance of children getting all their immunisations on time.

Dr Doherty added: “In Northern Ireland, thousands of cases of serious illness and many deaths are avoided each year thanks to a highly successful childhood immunisation programme, but there is still a small percentage of children who do not receive full protection.

“The PHA wishes to remind parents, carers and health professionals that complete immunisation of every child is vital to prevent infectious diseases and protect life. MMR vaccine is the safest and most effective way to protect children from measles.”