Hundreds of children given vital MMR jabs to tackle measles outbreak in Hartlepool

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THOUSANDS of children have been given potentially life-saving vaccinations against measles.

The health drive has seen 716 Hartlepool children were given the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccination as part of a regionwide school-based initiative which was responsible for immunising a total of 3,153 primary and secondary school students across Teesside.

The programme was launched in April by the Measles Outbreak Control Committee for the Tees area following an outbreak of the infectious disease, with 210 confirmed cases and a further 196 suspected cases between September 2012 and April this year.

The programme has now come to an end, but parents are being urged to ensure that their child has been immunised against the potentially life-threatening disease.

Louise Wallace, Hartlepool’s director of public health, said: “Even though the school-based vaccination programme has come to an end it is really important that we do everything possible to ensure that all children are immunised against measles.

“Around one in every 10 people who get measles will be hospitalised and in rare cases people can die from measles.

“If any parent is unsure whether their child has received the MMR jab they should contact their doctor in the first instance.

“Also, when parents are notified by their doctor that their child’s MMR is due, I urge them to make sure that the vaccination is carried out.”