Young people offered MMR vaccination catch up at GP

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NHS Tayside is offering children and young people, who have not received two doses of the MMR vaccine, the opportunity to be immunised at their local GP practice.

School pupils in S3, S4, S5 and S6 were offered the vaccination at sessions in March, when school nurses were also carrying out HPV vaccinations.

The new catch up campaign now allows anyone up to the age of 24 who has not had two doses of the MMR vaccine to be immunised at their own GP practice.

The MMR vaccine gives protection against measles, mumps and rubella which are all highly infectious viruses and can cause very unpleasant and sometimes dangerous illnesses.

These viruses can spread easily in places where young people gather together and it is therefore important that children and young people are protected against these preventable diseases.

The MMR vaccination is usually given when a baby is 13 months old and once again before the child starts school. However, the vaccine can be given at any age and it is important that both doses are given.

Measles is re-emerging in Western Europe and there has been a recent increase in the numbers of measles cases in Scotland and the rest of the UK.

These include teenagers and young adults, many of whom had travelled abroad. There has also been a rise in the number cases of mumps amongst young people in Tayside.

Measles, mumps and rubella are highly infectious diseases that can leave children suffering serious medical complications.

However, the high uptake of the MMR vaccine in Scotland means there has been a big reduction in the number of people catching these diseases.

Over 500 million doses of MMR have been used in over 90 countries around the world since the early 1970s.