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Measles vaccination clinic to be held in Bishop’s Stortford during half-term

A measles vaccination clinic is being held in Bishop’s Stortford this school half-term holiday.

As infections continue to rise across the country, Hertfordshire County Council and the NHS are urging parents, guardians and carers to make sure their children’s measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) protection is up to date.

Throughout the coming half-term holiday, the Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust will be holding vaccination clinics across the county so that anyone under the age of 25 who is eligible for an MMR jab, but has not yet had either their first or second dose, can receive it.

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The clinic in Bishop’s Stortford will be set up at the Windhill Family Centre, Windhill Primary School on Thursday, February 22, from 9am to 3pm. Bookings can be made by calling 0300 555 5055 and choosing option 1.

Measles spreads easily among unvaccinated people, especially in nurseries and schools, and the disease can lead to serious health conditions such as meningitis and hearing loss.

To best protect the whole community, the authorities need to ensure at least 95% of children are vaccinated, with two doses usually administered at ages one and three and ideally by five years old. Currently, the rate in Hertfordshire is 88.8%.

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Parents can check their child’s vaccination status through their “red book” or personal child health record (PCHR). Details are also available on the NHS app or from GPs.

The vaccine is free of charge on the NHS, at any age. Dr Jane Halpin, chief executive of the Hertfordshire and West Essex Integrated Care Board, said: “We are extremely concerned that if vaccine uptake does not improve, we can expect cases of measles to spread to towns across our area. The best way we can stop this from happening is by helping those who have previously missed out on the vaccine to catch up.

“Measles spreads very easily and can be extremely serious for those who are not yet vaccinated. Yet it can be prevented.

“With cases rising across the country, I strongly encourage anyone whose children have not yet had the MMR vaccine, or not had the second dose, to book a place at one of these sessions and get protected.”

Sarah Perman, director of public health at Hertfordshire County Council, said: “With cases rising across the country and our current vaccination rate at less than 95%t, we anticipate that there will unfortunately be outbreaks in Hertfordshire.

“That likelihood makes the half-term vaccination clinics even more important, so please take the opportunity to get your child the full protection they need.

“A measles outbreak would potentially mean a 21-day isolation period, which could lead to school classes being temporarily disbanded. Ensuring your child is up to date with their MMR vaccine will not only give significant protection, but it will also help reduce disruption to education.

“If attending a half-term clinic is not possible, contact your GP as soon as possible to book an appointment.”

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