Since the survey we shared about gaps in people’s vaccination records, there have been outbreaks of measles in South East Wales (Cardiff, Newport, and Blaenau Gwent).

It is more important than ever to make sure that your vaccinations are up-to-date, and there are a few ways you can do this:

  • Ask your parents. If they confirm your records are up-to-date, that’s great! Fill in the survey and relax in the knowledge that you are as safe as you can be from illnesses such as measles, mumps and rubella.
  • Speak to your GP. Even if you’re under 16, you should still be able to find out this information. If you are under 16 you may need parental consent to have any vaccinations you’re missing, but knowledge is power and will be the first steps towards getting protected.
  • Ask for a copy of your baby health record book from your parents (it’ll probably be red, but if you’re slightly older it’ll be pink or blue). Details of your vaccinations should be in there with the dates, batch numbers, and even which leg got injected!

What happens if I’m missing some vaccines?

You can get boosters done at your GP. If you’re under the age of 16, you may need a parent or guardian to go with you.

What should I do if I’m not allowed to get them done?

It depends on the reason. If it’s because your parents won’t let you, the first thing you should do is speak to your GP with any worries you have. They can help by giving you more information about vaccines. It may also be a good idea to ask your parents to look at the information on the Public Health Wales website.

(Meic can provide free support in talking to your parents if they don’t agree with your wishes.)

If you’re not able to have vaccinations due to allergies or health conditions, you rely on something called herd immunity. If enough people in a community are vaccinated, the illness cannot spread and will die out before an unvaccinated person can catch it. For herd immunity to work, 90-95% of the population needs to be vaccinated. Encourage your friends and family to make sure they’re up-to-date with their vaccinations as it will keep you (and them) safe.

 

Why is there an outbreak of measles?

Many babies and young children in the late 1990s and 2000s were not vaccinated because a false report by a man called Andrew Wakefield claimed that the MMR vaccination causes autism. Wakefield had his medical licence taken away, and he was never allowed to practice medicine in the UK again. Unfortunately, the damage had been done, and people who are now aged 25 and under are at the highest risk of catching preventable diseases such as measles.

What should I do next?

Find out if you’ve been vaccinated and fill out the survey. It will help the NHS to find out which areas are more at risk, and your GP will be able to answer any questions you may have about your vaccination record, including how to get up-to-date with any vaccines you have missed.

 

What is Measles?

 

Learn more about measles and vaccinations:

Measles

MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) Vaccine

Herd immunity (protecting people who can’t be vaccinated)

 

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