With an increase in cases of measles in some parts of the country, it’s important to ensure you and your children are protected with both doses of the MMR vaccine.

When children should have the MMR vaccine

The MMR vaccine is given to babies and young children as part of the NHS vaccination schedule.

Child’s age Vaccine
1 year MMR (1st dose)
3 years and 4 months MMR (2nd dose)

If you or your child missed one or both doses, it isn’t too late to catch up, even in adulthood.

Measles vaccination has been a part of the childhood vaccinations schedule since 1968, and was combined with Mumps and Rubella (MMR) in 1988. Anyone born between 1970 and 1990 is likely to be vaccinated against Measles, but may not be vaccinated against these other viruses, so could still benefit from receiving MMR for the reasons outlined below.

How to check your family’s vaccine status

  • Check your child’s Personal Child Health Record (PCHR), known as the red book
  • If your child is at secondary school (years 8-11), the School Aged Immunisation Service can check their vaccination status and give them a vaccine if needed. Contact via: 0300 421 8140 or email MMR.Immunisation@ghc.nhs.uk
  • Via the NHS app (vaccination status is only available on the app for some people)
  • If you cannot access either of the above, your GP surgery should be able to check for you. If you do have to contact your GP surgery, please be patient and kind at what is a very busy time of year for practice teams.

When older children and adults should have the MMR vaccine

Anyone who hasn’t had both doses of the MMR vaccine should do so, particularly if they:

  • are about to start college or university
  • are going to travel abroad
  • are planning a pregnancy
  • are a frontline health or social care worker

Individuals born before 1970 are likely to have had all three natural infections (measles, mumps, rubella) and are less likely to be susceptible, but should receive MMR if they are immunocompromised or considered to be at high risk of exposure.

Contact your GP surgery to arrange a vaccination.