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MMR Vaccine

Volume 488: debated on Monday 23 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he plans to take to increase measles, mumps and rubella vaccination rates amongst children under 16 years of age. (256920)

In August 2008, the Department announced the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine catch-up programme aimed at any child up to the age of 18 who has never been vaccinated with the MMR vaccine and any child who has had only one of the two MMR vaccine doses.

To support the campaign the Department has provided extra funding to primary care trusts (PCTs) with PCTs outside London having their funding limits increased by £30,000 and London PCTs’ funding limits increased by £60,000. The Department has also sourced additional supplies of vaccine, provided technical support to general practitioners to help them identify children who have not received the MMR vaccine and provided additional online reports to PCTs to help them monitor the effectiveness their catch-up programmes.

The Department held meetings with both strategic health authorities and PCT immunisation co-ordinators, Regional Directors of Public Health and Directors of Performance to emphasise the importance of reducing measles cases through improving vaccination uptake.

A public relations campaign is planned to be implemented and rolled out shortly. Key messages will include how serious and infectious measles is and how it's never too late to have the MMR vaccine. A measles leaflet has already been placed in the Library and is available at:

www.immunisation.nhs.uk