Health bosses back new MMR jab policy

HEALTH bosses in Suffolk have welcomed the Government's plans to offer all children under 18 an MMR jab amid growing concerns about a measles epidemic.

HEALTH bosses in Suffolk have welcomed the Government's plans to offer all children under 18 an MMR jab amid growing concerns about a measles epidemic.

The Department of Health has asked primary care trusts (PCTs) to recommend the inoculation to all youngsters not already fully protected.

The county's health chiefs said the “catch-up” campaign was good news but warned the take-up rate of the jab had to be greater if an outbreak of measles was to be avoided.

Torbjorn Sundkvist , consultant in communicable disease control at Suffolk Health Protection Unit, said: “We have had a few confirmed cases of measles this year but not a lot. However the problem is the take-up - it is on par with the national level of 85 per cent but it is too low.


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“We need to raise the level to 90-95pc to stop outbreaks. We're just waiting for things to become worse - as children get older they will go to school and be in closer proximity with one another and more outbreaks will happen.”

Dr David Kanka, deputy director of public health at Suffolk PCT, said: “My advice is for children to be vaccinated against measles. Measles is a serious illness that has the potential to kill children.

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“Concerns previously raised about the MMR vaccination have now been discredited. We would urge all parents who have not had their child or children vaccinated, to do so now.”

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