MEASLES vaccinations are at an all time high in Wigan, but health experts are urging people to be vigilant.
Despite the borough having a far higher uptake in all three age groups for the MMR vaccination than both the rest of the region and the national average, doctors want more people to ensure their children are taking up the vaccine.
Following reports that nationally, the vaccine uptake is at a 14 year high, Wigan Borough Clinical Commissioning Group (WBCCG) have revealed that more youngsters than anywhere else in Greater Manchester are being protected.
For full protection it is important to have two doses of the vaccine. The first dose is given at around thirteen months of age and the second dose is given after three years and four months of age.
The uptake for the MMR vaccine in Wigan at the first dose is 96.1 per cent (North West 94.7, England 92.3 per cent) and 90.8 per cent at the second dose (North West 89.8, England 87.2).
Measles can cause serious illness and can, in some cases, be fatal.
Complications can include meningitis and encephalitis - inflammation of the lining of the brain. Rarer disorders of the eye, heart and nervous system can also develop.
Dr Paul Turner, Consultant in Public Health said: “We have good uptake of MMR vaccine in Wigan borough which has protected children during the few outbreaks of measles we have had this year.
“Wigan borough has better uptake for MMR than the North West and England as a whole. Despite this we do want to further improve uptake particularly in respect of the second dose as this is the best way to protect children.
“If your child is not fully protected for their age then please arrange an appointment at your local GP practice.
This is the best way to protect your child should there be a case of measles at their school or nursery. It also protects those children that are too young to receive MMR vaccine.”
Further information on MMR can be found at: www.nhs.uk/conditions/mmr/pages/introduction.aspx