MMR Awareness Campaign
Measles Mumps Rubella (MMR) Immunisation Swansea Awareness Raising Campaign December 2008 - March 2009
This is a short briefing paper for health and other professionals in Swansea. It explains the new local campaign to raise public awareness across Swansea on the importance of the MMR vaccination.
2. Importance of the MMR Vaccination
For twenty years the MMR vaccine has been used to protect children and young people against measles, mumps and rubella. Before the vaccine was introduced, mumps was the commonest cause of viral meningitis in children. Because of the MMR vaccine, we are now close to wiping out mumps in children. Before the MMR vaccine was introduced, rubella continued to be dangerous to unborn babies. Because of the MMR vaccine we are now close to wiping out rubella, (MMR the facts, WAG, 2007).
In Wales this year we have had 32 confirmed cases of measles so far, (HPA, 2008). The complications of measles affect one in every 15 cases and about one in every 100 cases need to go to hospital. Complications include chest infections, fits, encephalitis and brain damage. Measles kills around one in every 2,500 children who catch it, (MMR the facts, WAG, 2007).
As part of the priorities identified in the Swansea Health Social Care and Well Being Strategy 2008-2011, work has been developing locally to increase MMR uptake rates in children and young people.
The national target is for 95 per cent of children and young people to be fully immunised against MMR. It is essential children receive both doses of the MMR vaccine to ensure they are fully protected. Children are given their first MMR vaccination at 13 months of age. A second dose is given at approximately three years and four months of age.
However in Swansea the level of immunisation is below this national target.
The latest data available shows that in Swansea between 01/07/08 and 30/09/08;
§ In 2 year old children MMR first dose uptake rate was 86.2%
§ In 5 year old children MMR second dose uptake rate was 80%
4. Swansea Immunisation Task Group
A local multi-agency task group has been tackling the issues of low uptake from a number of angles. The group is chaired by Dr Nina Williams, Swansea Public Health Director. The group has agreed to promote a local public health awareness raising campaign from December to March 2009, using posters and leaflets aimed at parents, carers and other members of the public to encourage them to ensure their children are fully protected against MMR.
5. MMR Immunisation Campaign
We seek your help and support in promoting the campaign messages. Please help to raise awareness of the importance for all children and young people to be protected by two doses of MMR vaccine. Please display the posters within your particular place of work or community setting.
Leaflets are also available to support the message and provide parents and the public with information on MMR vaccination.
6. Campaign Resources & Further Information
The local campaign posters and leaflets have accompanied this briefing paper. For further copies, please contact Marie Griffiths at Swansea Public Health Team on 01792 784858. For more details on the local work to increase MMR uptake rates in children and young people please contact Judith Tomlinson on the same number.
More information on the MMR vaccine can be found at;
http://www.nphs.wales.nhs.uk/ National Public Health Service for Wales
http://www.hpa.org.uk/HPA/Topics/InfectiousDiseases/InfectionsAZ/1204100449462/ The Health Protection Agency
http://www.immunisation.nhs.uk/Vaccines/MMR The NHS Immunisation Website
Please support the local Measles Mumps Rubella (MMR) Immunisation Swansea Awareness Raising Campaign
Welsh Assembly Government (2007) 'MMR - the facts'
Health Protection Agency, (2008) http://www.hpa.org.uk/webw/HPAweb&Page&HPAwebAutoListName/Page/1191942172782?p=1191942172782 accessed 01/12/08