Milton Keynes Council urge residents to keep up to date with vaccinations as World Immunisation Week begins

Public Health leaders across the region are encouraging all residents to make sure they are up to date with their vaccinations.

Today (24/04) marks the start of World Immunisation Week which promotes the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against vaccine-preventable disease. Immunisations can save millions of lives every year and are widely recognised as one of the world’s most successful health interventions.

It is reported that around one in 10 five-year-olds in Milton Keynes have not had both doses of the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine.

Dr Sarah Whiteman, Clinical Chair Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group (BLMK CCG), explained the importance of vaccines as she said: "Now more than ever, vaccines are proving their worth by helping us through the current COVID-19 pandemic.

"It is also important that as we emerge from lockdown and come back closer together, we do not see a resurgence of other infectious preventable diseases. 

"Ensuring our immunisations are up to date, particularly our children’s, is one measure we can all take to protect our families, communities and ourselves."

Measles is a highly infectious viral illness which spreads very easily. Anyone can get measles if they have not been vaccinated or have not had it before, although it's most common in young children.  Measles can cause a cough, runny nose, rash and fever. 

The illness can be very unpleasant and can sometimes lead to serious complications, especially for people whose immune system are not working normally.

Vicky Head, Director of Public Health for Milton Keynes, implored residents to get their MMR vaccinations if they had not already done so as she said: "MMR vaccine appointments are not affected by COVID-19 and are still available. 

"The best way to prevent measles is through the MMR vaccination, which is safe and highly effective."

The MMR vaccine is available to all adults and children who are not up to date with their two doses. Those who are unsure if they are fully vaccinated should check with their GP practice.

Locals can contact their GP, midwife or health visitor directly to ask about their vaccination schedule and more information about the NHS vaccination programme is available by clicking here.