Swansea measles epidemic: Record MMR jabs for two-year-olds

Young child has MMR vaccine
Image caption Measles cases are continuing to rise if more slowly

Record numbers of two-year-olds have had the measles mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination, health officials say.

It comes as the number of cases being reported in the Swansea measles epidemic since November now stands at 1,171 - a rise of 13 since last Friday.

Public Health Wales (PHW) said the target of 95% for children aged two to have the first MMR dose has been met.

PHW wants to boost uptake of the second dose in five-year-olds from 90% to 95%, warning parents not to be complacent.

The majority of cases in the measles outbreak centred on the Swansea area are aged between 10 and 18.

"We are delighted to see average uptake of the first dose of MMR passing 95% for the first time," said Dr Marion Lyons, director of PHW.

"It's fantastic to see that parents of younger children are understanding the importance of this vaccine.

"However, vaccination levels in the generation of children and young people between 10 and 18 is still too low.

"While uptake remains lower than 95% in some parts of Wales, there is always the risk of measles outbreaks.

"We continue to urge parents to ensure their children are vaccinated at 12 months of age or as soon as possible afterwards."

Dr Lyons stressed the report only reflects the target for two-year-olds and not all age groups.

She added: "Our message remains that anyone born after 1970 who has not had measles or received both doses of MMR should catch up at the earliest opportunity."

More than 60,000 vaccinations have now been given in total, aimed at reducing the length and severity of the outbreak in the Swansea and Powys areas.

Wales saw only 19 measles cases in 2011.

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