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Measles and Summer Travel/ Festivals

Dear Secondary School and College headteachers and welfare leads,


Young people are encouraged to make sure they have had both doses of the MMR vaccine before going on holiday to Europe where there are large outbreaks of measles.  Cases of measles also continue to rise across England in unvaccinated young people.


The vaccine protects against measles, mumps and rubella, all of which can be very serious diseases and are highly infectious.  Measles is a viral illness that can sometimes lead to serious complications and can be fatal in very rare cases, so getting protected by taking up the offer of the vaccination is crucial.


While vaccine uptake levels in the UK in young children are currently very high, coverage levels dipped to a low of 80% in 2003.  Consequently there are significant numbers of unprotected teenagers and young adults who could catch measles both in England, particularly in environments of close mixing such as summer festivals, and when they travel abroad for the summer holidays.


The vaccine is available free to anyone who did not receive both doses as a child.  If young people are unsure whether they've had 2 doses of MMR they can call their GP practice to check and catch up if needed.


Posters are attached that can be circulated electronically or downloaded and printed to display around your school/ college.


Kind regards,


09 Jul 2018

Claire Alp, Senior Public Health Specialist, Health and Wellbeing in Schools Service
Health & Wellbeing in Schools Service
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