Raising awareness of the importance of the MMR jab

If your child is of eligible age, have they had their MMR vaccination yet? If you answered ‘no’ – why not?

The council’s Public Health team is launching an awareness campaign about the importance of the MMR vaccine. Slough has the lowest number of children vaccinated in Berkshire and it’s extremely important that the borough’s children are protected, especially against Measles, which can be a deadly disease. Rubella is also extremely dangerous for pregnant women causing profound birth defects and baby loss.

For the first vaccination, children must be one year old and this dose is available through your GP or Health Visitor. The second dose is from 3 years 4 months, and is available through schools and catch-up clinics held at various locations in East Berkshire. Parents and carers can have their children vaccinated if they missed out on the vaccination when their child was younger by contacting their GP surgery.

In 2020/21 only 88.78% of parents of children aged 24 months, who were offered the MMR vaccination, took up the opportunity for their children in Slough. As the diseases are easily spread, the vaccination coverage needs to be at 95% minimum.

The Slough Borough Council Public Health team is raising awareness of the importance of getting your children vaccinated by sharing information and advice on MMR with Children’s Centres, Nurseries and Schools, and the local community and voluntary sector.

Vanita Dutta, public health programme manager, said: “Slough’s vaccination rates are low for the MMR vaccine, and this leads to increased pressure on local GPs and hospitals, lost working days, and unnecessary illness.

"Even very healthy children can become seriously ill from measles or even sadly die.”

“It takes just a few minutes of your time to get your little ones vaccinated, so please get them vaccinated and protect your loved ones from Measles, Mumps and Rubella. If you would like more information about the vaccine, please talk to your GP, practice nurse or pharmacist.”

The council is working harder than ever to help raise awareness and encourage people to get their children vaccinated. For more information, please contact the Public Health team on publichealthslough@slough.gov.uk

Published: 30 March 2022