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Health Matters: Festivals and MMR Vaccine

Health Matters: Festivals and MMR Vaccine
12 August 2019

 

 

 

 

Dr Andrew Wilson, clinical chair of NHS Eastern Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group

Festivals and the MMR vaccine

With festival season now upon us it is imperative that we stay safe this summer by taking the right precautions.

The MMR vaccine is a safe and effective combined vaccine that protects against 3 separate illnesses – measles, mumps and rubella (German measles) – in a single injection. The full course of MMR vaccination requires 2 doses.

Festival goers are urged to get this vaccine if they have not already; with them being passed through airborne and droplet transmission the chances of catching one of the three are increased with so many people in a small area and it’s potentially life threatening.

Adults who were born between the 1970’s-1990 may have only be vaccinated against measles and rubella, not mumps, so it’s important to get all the vaccinations as there are a multitude of .

There's been some controversy about whether the MMR vaccine might cause autism following a 1998 study by Dr Andrew Wakefield. He claimed there is a link between the MMR vaccine and autism or bowel disease. But his work has since been completely discredited and he has been struck off as a doctor in the UK.

Although a vaccine is advised there are some side effects such as:

  • Developing a mild form of measles that lasts for 2 to 3 days (this is not infectious)
  • Developing a mild form of mumps that lasts for a day or two (this is not infectious)
  • In rare cases, a small rash of bruise-like spots may appear a few weeks after the injection.

If you think you may have one of the three illnesses, phone your GP, if you are unsure as to whether you have caught one of them information can be found on www.nhs.uk and searching Measles, Mumps or Rubella.

It is important you stay safe this festival season and have the full course of vaccinations.