MMR vaccinations in Kent being offered at catch-up clinics
Parents concerned that their child or children may not by fully immunised against measles can request 'catch-up' vaccinations at clinics in Kent next month.
The measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination will be available to families who suspect their child or teen may not have received one or both doses of the vaccine.
According to the World Health Organisation measles cases have risen by 300% worldwide so far in 2019, compared with the same period last year.
The United States is currently reporting large measles outbreaks in some states, which has seen Rockland County in New York ban unvaccinated under 18s from public places, as health officials attempt to slow down the spread which could lead to the highest number of reported cases in America for 25 years.
In the UK there has also been an increasing number of children and adults contracting measles, with 966 confirmed cases in 2018 compared to 259 in 2017.
At the start of this month health experts warned that fake news about vaccinations being spread on social media could be putting more than 1,300 children in Kent at risk as take up of the MMR vaccination was falling.
Between April and September 2018, 88.2% of children turning five had received the recommended two MMR jabs in Kent and 86% in Medway - meaning that more than 1,300 children were not fully vaccinated and below the target set by the World Health Organisation of 95% coverage.
Watch the KMTV report about take-up of the MMR vaccine here:
The Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust organises the county's immunisation clinics.
KCHFT offers an immunisation service throughout the year to children and young people, which can also cover flu, HPV, diphtheria tetanus and polio and some strains of meningococcal disease.
The MMR vaccine is available free to those aged under 20 and parental consent is not needed for those aged 16 and over, says the trust.
Next month's clinics welcome toddlers through to teens whilst anyone aged over 19 years who suspects they may require vaccination is asked to contact their GP.
And the trust is reminding families that measles is not just a disease of young children - with most of the cases in 2018 in people over the age of 15.
Catherine Burton, Head of KCHFT’s School Public Health and Immunisation Service, said: “Measles, mumps and rubella are highly infectious conditions that can have serious, potentially fatal complications, including meningitis, swelling of the brain (encephalitis) and deafness.
"They can also lead to complications in pregnancy that affect the unborn baby and can lead to miscarriage.”
Parents and carers who suspect their child has not been fully immunised, can arrange for a catch-up MMR vaccination by either contacting their GP or the KCHFT Immunisation Hub on 0300 123 5205. They will then be booked into one of the immunisation clinics.
Upcoming clinics include:
• Thursday, May 2 Queenborough 2.40pm – 3.40pm Ladybirds Children’s Centre, First Avenue, Queenborough, Isle of Sheppey ME11 5JF
• Saturday, May 11 Dartford 9.30am – 12.30pm The Mick Jagger Centre, Room P4, Shepherds Lane, Dartford DA1 2JZ
• Tuesday, May 28 Dover 9.30am – 3.30pm Dover Health Centre, Room 1, Maison Dieu Road, Dover CT16 1RH
• Tuesday, May 28 Gravesend 9.30am – 3.30pm Little Pebbles Children’s Centre, Ordnance Road, Gravesend DA12 2RL
• Tuesday, May 28 Herne Bay 9.15am – 12.45pm Briary Children’s Centre Greenhill Road (West) Herne Bay Kent CT6 7RS
• Wednesday, May 29 Dartford 9.30am – 3.00pm The Mick Jagger Centre, Room J11, Shepherds Lane, Dartford DA1 2JZ
• Wednesday, May 29 Maidstone 9.30am – 3.30pm Foster Street Clinic, Foster Street, Maidstone ME15 6NH
• Wednesday, May 29 Queenborough 9.15am – 12.15pm Ladybirds Children’s Centre, First Avenue, Queenborough, Isle of Sheppey ME15 5JF
• Thursday, May 30 Ashford 9.30am – 3pm Bluebells Room, Ray Allen Centre, Stanhope Road, Ashford TN23 5RN
• Thursday, May 30 Gillingham 9am – 4pm Medway Maritime Hospital, Magpie Centre, Level 2, Green Zone, Gillingham ME7 5NY
• Friday, May 31 Canterbury 9am – 12noon Canterbury Health Centre, 26 Old Dover Road, Canterbury Kent CT1 3JH
• Friday, May 31 Folkestone 9.30am – 3.30pm Royal Victoria Hospital, Art Room, Radnor Park Avenue, Folkestone CT19 5BN
• Friday, May 31 Tunbridge Wells 10am – 3pm Little Forest Children’s Centre, Friars Way, Tunbridge Wells, TN2 3UA
• Saturday, June 1 Sevenoaks 10am – 2pm Sevenoaks Hospital, Room 6, Second Floor, Hospital Rd, Sevenoaks TN13 3PG
• Tuesday, June 4 Ramsgate 10.40am -12.40pm Newington Road Clinic, Newington Road, Ramsgate CT11 0QU
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