If we’re not vaccinated, we’re not protected

04 March 2024 5 min read

A new country-wide, multi-media campaign is reminding parents and carers of the risk of their children missing out on protection against serious diseases that are re-emerging in the country

If we’re not vaccinated, we’re not protected

If we’re not vaccinated, we’re not protected, is the simple message of the campaign to help reduce young people’s risk from serious illnesses like measles and whooping cough. Cases of both are on the rise in England are rising.


In the four weeks from 29th January 2024, there have been 183 newly confirmed cases of measles, 19% of which have been in the North West.

Very present threat

Professor Dame Jenny Harries, Chief Executive of the UK Health Security Agency, said: “The ongoing measles outbreak we are seeing is a reminder of the very present threat.

“We need an urgent reversal of the decline in the uptake of childhood vaccinations to protect our communities.

“While the majority of the country is protected, there are still high numbers of children in some areas that continue to be unprotected from preventable diseases. It is not just their own health that can suffer, but other unvaccinated people around them such as school friends, family and those in their community could also experience serious infections.”


The measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine provides protection from measles infection.

Children are offered the first dose of the MMR vaccine when aged one year and the second dose aged around 3 years 4 months, before they start school. But you can protect yourself by getting the MMR vaccine for free from the NHS whatever your age.

Parents and guardians can find out whether their child is up to date with their vaccinations by checking their personal child health record (PCHR), also known as the red book, or contacting their GP.


You can find out more about measles from the NHS.

The Government's Department for Education has also produced a guide on What to do if you think your child has measles and when to keep them off school.

You can use this link to find a leaflet on the Government website explaining the MMR vaccination

Admitted to hospital

Steve Russell, National Director for Vaccinations and Screening at NHS England, said: “Measles is a serious illness, and in some cases can lead to having to be admitted to hospital for treatment.

“The MMR vaccination offers the best protection against becoming seriously unwell.

“Two doses are needed to get maximum protection, so as well as sending reminders to parents and guardians of children up to five who have yet to get full protection, the NHS has been asking all parents and guardians of children aged six to 11 who have missed one or more doses of the MMR vaccine to book a catch up at their GP practice, or through MMR pop-ups in schools and other convenient places.”


Dr Linda Charles-Ozuzu, Regional Director of Commissioning for NHS England North West, said: “Routine vaccinations have been given to generations of children and are proven to be effective at preventing serious childhood illnesses.”

“That’s why we’ve been so concerned to see parts of the North West experiencing low vaccination rates that are below the recommended levels.”


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