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Friday, 31 October 2014

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Record uptake for MMR vaccine in Cumbria

Over 95 per cent of parents in Cumbria are vaccinating their children against measles, mumps and rubella.

The new, record figures show more youngsters than ever are now receiving the MMR jab, which is given in two doses, usually before they start school.

Cumbria has a 95.4 per cent take-up rate of the first dose, in children under two – the highest recorded take-up rate for the county in a 12-month period.

Measles, mumps and rubella are common yet highly infectious conditions that can have serious complications, such as meningitis, swelling of the brain and deafness. Measles can be fatal.

Several years ago there was a reduction in uptake of the MMR vaccine which led to a drop in the population’s immunity to the infections.

This, and increasing levels of personal travel, have resulted in an increase in measles across the UK and Europe as well as mumps – particularly in teenagers and young adults.

Dr Nigel Calvert, NHS Cumbria’s associate director of public health, said: “It is very encouraging that parents across Cumbria are taking the opportunity to protect their children.

“It is very important that they have the full number of doses offered.”

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