Young people urged to get protection against measles

The best way to protect against measles is by taking the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination and this is now being offered to all 10 to 17 year olds who may have missed out when they were younger.

NHS Western Isles is currently writing to those in the eligible age group (above), where medical records indicate that they are non-immunised or only partially immunised against measles.

In line with the rest of Scotland, the current MMR uptake figures in the Western Isles continue to exceed the World Health Organisation target of 95%.

GP, Health Protection Team, Dr Louise Scott said: “Whilst there have been no reported cases of measles in the Western Isles this year, we need to make sure young people are protected. The number of young people catching measles across the UK is rising, mainly due to a group of young people, now aged 10 – 17, who were not immunised due to concerns about vaccine safety at that time.

“We are therefore writing to all 10 to 17 year olds whose records show they may have missed out when they were younger. Just speak to your GP or visit to get your child protected. It is not too late to be protected against measles.”

It is important that all young people have had two doses of the MMR vaccine to fully protect them against measles, mumps and rubella. Measles is highly infectious and can be a dangerous illness. A cough or a sneeze can spread the measles virus over a wide area. Measles spreads easily in schools and other places where young people gather together.