Swansea measles: Early MMR jab for young babies ends

Young child has MMR vaccine At the height of the outbreak additional clinics were held to boost immunisation rates

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Babies under the age of one who live in the area affected by the Swansea measles outbreak no longer need to have their MMR vaccinations early.

Health officials said they were ending the offer to give babies of six months the MMR vaccine as the outbreak slowed.

The first vaccination will continue to be given at the usual age of 13 months, even to babies who had the jab at six months.

Public Health Wales figures show 1,202 measles cases reported since November.

People have been asked to remain vigilant to symptoms of the disease as the outbreak had not been declared over, but PHW said there was no evidence measles was circulating widely in the community.

Parents of young babies who had already received the MMR early were asked to ensure they presented their children for the 13 month dose.

'Catch up'

Dr Marion Lyons, director of health protection at PHW, said: "We are satisfied that as case numbers in the measles outbreak are slowing, we no longer need to bring forward routine vaccinations for babies.

"However, parents of children of all ages should be aware that the outbreak is not over, and that if their child is overdue for vaccination, they should still catch up on missed doses as a matter of urgency.

"The age group hardest hit by the outbreak is those between 10 and 18, and we know we still have around 30,000 unvaccinated people in that group.

"We remain concerned about further outbreaks in that age group and would urge those who are not vaccinated to speak to their GP."

Earlier this month, Health Minister Mark Drakeford announced additional vaccinations would be added to the immunisation programme.

Babies will be vaccinated against a bowel infection and toddlers given a flu vaccine, while over-70s will be immunised against shingles and the Meningitis C second dose will be given in adolescence instead of at four months.

Mr Drakeford said lessons had been learned from the measles epidemic.

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