Brixton Library and Windrush Square get 'measles' in bid to boost MMR vaccinations
On March 6 2019, the Windrush Square and Brixton Library were lit up with images of measles and #MMR. This is part of a campaign to raise awareness about measles and encourage residents to contact their GPs for their MMR vaccination where they've missed it or if they are unsure about their vaccination history.
Brixton Library and the Windrush Square have been covered with images of measles spots as public health experts warn about more people getting measles in London.
Lambeth residents are being urged to get immunised against measles, with children, young people and parents particularly encouraged to get the vaccine. In 2018, London reported 379 cases of measles, compared to 243 cases for the whole of 2017.
Measles is a highly infectious viral illness which can be very unpleasant and can sometimes lead to serious complications. Luckily, the Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine (MMR), which provides protection against measles, is available free on the NHS through GP surgeries. The Council is working with local GPs to ensure people in Lambeth receive the immunisations they need, and to ensure that enough people are vaccinated to prevent an outbreak in the borough.
In Lambeth, over 80% of children currently receive both doses of MMR, but this is still below the 95% rate which is necessary to make a future outbreak very unlikely.
MMR is a safe and effective combined vaccine, which requires two separate doses. The first is given as a single injection to babies as part of their routine vaccination schedule, usually within a month of their first birthday. Children should then have a second injection of the vaccine before starting school. This can be as early as three months after having the first dose. Data indicates that over 90% of children in Lambeth receive the first dose of MMR before their fifth birthday, but that some are failing to receive the important second dose.
MMR can be given at any time, including to adults, so there is no need for people to be concerned that they have missed out.
Those who are unvaccinated or have not had both doses of the vaccine remain at risk of becoming infected with measles, and also increase the likelihood of spread to family members and social networks. Young children, babies, pregnant women and those with weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable to measles and the complications which can arise.
Check that you and your family have had both doses of the MMR vaccine. If you are unsure, contact your GP.
Visit NHS Choices to find out more about the MMR vaccine.