Devon

Devon MP Dr Sarah Wollaston backs MMR vaccination appeal

  • 28 May 2013
  • From the section Devon
Vaccination syringe
Dr Sarah Wollaston is urging parents to take up the MMR vaccine in Totnes

A Tory MP and former GP is backing a campaign to get more children vaccinated against measles.

Dr Sarah Wollaston, who represents Totnes, said she felt "passionate" about parents taking up the MMR vaccine following the recent epidemic in Wales.

The MP is particularly concerned about the risk of measles in Totnes, where the take-up of the MMR vaccine is about 70%.

She said the risk of measles is "an issue for the whole community".

MMR is a combined vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella, three common infectious diseases of childhood.

Dr Wollaston said: "I feel passionately about it. Because we [had] such a low uptake in MMR in Totnes, if measles comes to the town it's far more likely to spread very rapidly and widely.

"If measles spreads to London, which is widely predicted to happen there will be more risks. We have a large number of people from Totnes who go back and forth to London."

Julie Bryon-Edmond, whose daughter had a liver transplant at the age of five weeks, said she is keeping her away from Totnes because of the low MMR take up.

Mrs Bryon-Edmond said: "Her immune system is very fragile. Potentially it could be fatal for her if she got the measles.

"It's very very frightening for us as a family."

Mrs Wollaston said: "The vaccination doesn't work overnight. It's there to get your immune system ready if it arrives."

Two surgeries in Totnes, Leatside and Catherine House, are offering access to the MMR jab with no appointment necessary.

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