Protect your child against measles, says Havering’s director of public health

16:07 26 April 2013

Director of Public Health for Havering Council, Dr Mary Black

Director of Public Health for Havering Council, Dr Mary Black


If your child is not protected against measles, get them immunised, this is the message from a health chief in Havering.

After the recent measles outbreak in Swansea a national catch-up programme to increase MMR vaccination uptake in children and teenagers was announced yesterday (Thursday) by Public Health England, NHS England and the Department of Health.

The aim is to prevent outbreaks by vaccinating as many unvaccinated and partially vaccinated 10 to 16-year-olds as possible in time for the next school year.

Havering Council’s director of public health, Dr Mary Black, is advising parents with children who have not been immunised against measles, a highly infectious viral illness that can lead to serious complications, including blindness and even death, to see their doctor as soon as possible.

She said: “Young people who have not been immunised, for whatever reason, are not immune and can catch it. They need to be immunised and can to go to their doctor to do this. All the GPs in the borough are ready and have stocks readily available.”

Experts believe the rise in measles cases can be mostly attributed to the proportion of unprotected young people, who missed out on vaccination in the late 1990s and early 2000s when concern around the discredited link between autism and the vaccine was widespread.

After many years of low vaccination uptake, measles became re-established in 2007.

Dr Black added: “Young people aged 16 to 19 are more likely not to be immunised than other age groups. A lot of older people have probably had it as a child.”

“Now there are very few cases of measles, and people tend to get it when they are older, which can lead to complications if they have anything else with it, like asthma.”

She added that it was important that parents keep their child’s vaccination record up to date, so that children know what they are protected against in the future.

There have been no reported cases of measles in the borough this year and there was one reported case last year. But Elaine Greenway, acting associate director of Public Health in Havering, said: “We are not being complacent about it. If you have not had a chance to get your child vaccinated, now is the time to do so.

“And we would ask teenagers not to rely on their parents to get them immunised. Make sure you are immunised, especially if you are going to university or will be travelling overseas.”


Latest News Stories

Last night's full council meeting saw decisions being made on the release of £83million to build new affordable homes and the expansion of at least five primary schools

Councillors have agreed to release £83million to provide affordable housing in the borough, expand at least five primary schools to ease the shortage of school places and pledged to ensure more work opportunities for adults with autism in last night’s full council meeting.

Police were called at 12.58pm in the proximity of the Brewery shopping centre in Romford

Trains stopped going through Romford station after police reported a suspicious vehicle in proximity of The Brewery.

File photo dated 28/09/15 of Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, who is warning the Government's failure to invest in Britain's infrastructure is putting the future prosperity of the country at risk.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell MP is due to visit Havering on today to speak to young Labour members.

Robert Knowles serving food platters and salt beef sandwiches at the TapRoom micropub in Upminster, which opened on Saturday

The borough’s first micropub finally opened on Saturday and welcomed its first customers with locally sourced pork pies, cheese platters and real ale.

Yesterday, 14:12
Chancellor George Osborne outlined the government's spending plans in his Autumn Statement and Spending Review (Pic: PA/Yui Mok)

The Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has announced his budget proposal for the next five years – here are the main things to know.

Yesterday, 11:56
Picture: Google maps

A man has been arrested os suspicion of stabbing a 16-year-old boy near Havering College.

Yesterday, 11:23
The London Fire Brigade has put forward proposals to axe 13 fire engines - including one from Stratford - to save £11million

‘All the conversation now is about social media, removing something as important as this is a false economy’ say Tories

Most read news

News from your area


Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.


MAC Makeup

MAC are renowned for their flawless, fabulous make up that is used worldwide by the stars. You too can have the chance to have the perfect makeup to suit your needs with £1,000 to spend on all the glam goodies you like!


You are never far from an Argos, wherever in the country you may be. They are like a magical cavern where whatever you need they seem to have it out the back behind the counter. So why not put them to the test with this great MyOffers competition to win £1000 to spend in-store.

Digital Edition

Read the Romford Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder