Campaign to give vaccine to 10,000 children to stop measles outbreak

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More than 10,000 children in Lincolnshire are to be targeted in a vaccination campaign to prevent an outbreak of measles.

As part of a national drive, health bosses in the county are planning to immunise as many unvaccinated ten to 16-year-olds as possible to prevent an outbreak of the disease as seen recently in Wales.

Around Swansea there have been almost 1,000 cases, with one suspected death.

There were only eight cases of measles in Lincolnshire during the whole of 2012, but there were five cases from January to March 2013.

The recent rise in cases has been blamed by some on the scare in 1990s when a since discredited report suggested a link between the MMR vaccine, which immunises against measles, mumps and rubella, and autism in children.

As a result many parents chose not to have their babies and pre-school children vaccinated.

If you have not been vaccinated, the risk of getting measles is much higher.

Tony Hill, director of public health in Lincolnshire, said: “There have been relatively few cases of measles in Lincolnshire although numbers have increased slightly over the past few weeks.

“We have a reasonable uptake of the vaccination but we need to get it up higher.

“More than 90 per cent of children are immunised but we need more than that.

“And it’s not just about reminding those whose children are due to have the vaccination now, but also those who may have missed out on the jab in the past, right up to teenagers.”

One dose of the MMR vaccine provides a 95 per cent protection against measles, with a second dose providing almost complete protection.

Anyone with questions about whethe their child is protected should contact their GP.