Successful vaccination sessions have been held at six primary schools in the same locality as a Newport high school at the centre of a measles outbreak.
MMR vaccinations were offered to pupils at Somerton Primary School, Lliswerry Primary School, Eveswell Primary School, St. Andrew’s Primary School, Pillgwenlly Primary School and Maindee Primary School on Friday.
A total of 171 pupils were vaccinated in the sessions, following 123 children at Lliswerry High School being vaccinated earlier last week.
The sessions follow the confirmation of five cases of measles linked with the high school. The most recent confirmed case is in a child who became unwell early last week.
Public Health Wales continues to urge parents to ensure their children have received two doses of the MMR vaccine to protect them against measles and its complications.
Children with measles symptoms – which include a fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes (conjunctivitis), and a distinctive red rash – should be kept home from school.
Parents who suspect their child has measles should contact their GP or NHS Direct Wales. They should also alert their GP of the symptoms before attending any appointment.
Heather Lewis, Consultant in Health Protection for Public Health Wales, said:
“We are pleased with the uptake of the MMR vaccine at the Newport schools where we have undertaken vaccination sessions and continue to work to ensure we do everything we can to limit the spread of measles infection.
“Measles is highly infectious and the only way to prevent large outbreaks is through vaccination. We urge parents whose children are not up to date with two doses of MMR to ensure that they contact their surgery immediately to arrange this quick, safe and effective vaccine.”
Adults born since 1970, who have never had measles or the MMR vaccine, are also urged to ensure they contact their surgery about vaccination, especially if they work with children.
The first dose of MMR is usually given to babies at between 12 and 13 months of age, and the second at three years and four months of age, but it is never too late to catch up on missed doses.
The MMR vaccine is recommended by the World Health Organization, UK Department of Health and Public Health Wales as the most effective and safe way to protect children against measles.
About 1 in 5 children with measles can experience serious complications such as ear infections, pneumonia or meningitis. One in 10 children with measles ends up in hospital and in rare cases it can be fatal.