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Catch-up programme offers MMR jabs to Lichfield and Burntwood youngsters

Parents in Lichfield and Burntwood whose children have not had the MMR jab are to be targeted as part of a summer vaccination campaign aimed at reducing the risk of a measles outbreak in Staffordshire.

Letters are being sent offering the vaccination to children aged between 10 and 16 over the school holidays.

Around 3,900 in this age group in Staffordshire have not had any MMR vaccination, while a further 4,000 have had one dose. The full vaccine – which protects against mumps, measles and rubella – is two doses.

Robbie Marshall, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “We do not have an outbreak of measles in Staffordshire, but we have seen from the cases in South Wales how quickly these can occur.

“The best way to protect our children and the wider community from the serious and potentially life-threatening effects of measles is to ensure that children are vaccinated and I would urge parents to take up this offer if they receive a letter.”

The local MMR catch-up programme has been organised with GPs across Staffordshire. The initiative aims to target children born between 1997 and 2003. Low levels of take up of the jab occurred during this time following now discredited research which claimed the jab may be linked to autism.

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