Hampshire County Council is urging young adults heading off to Europe this summer to check with their GP surgery whether they have had both doses of the MMR (mumps, measles, rubella) immunisations before they travel.
Evidence shows that young people aged 15 to 25 may have missed out on the vaccine when they were younger, resulting in a rise in measles cases in the UK.
Councillor Patricia Stallard, Executive Member for Public Health at Hampshire County Council, explained, “Young adults who missed out on the MMR vaccine when they were younger are particularly at risk if travelling to parts of Europe which have increased numbers of cases or outbreaks. If you are unsure whether you have received both doses of MMR, you can call your GP surgery to check your vaccination records. Adults can be vaccinated at any age and this can be done for free at the surgery.”
Measles is a highly infectious viral disease that can lead to serious complications and is easily transmitted in close mixing environments such as festivals or certain travel and accommodation arrangements.
It is important to ensure that people are fully protected, as unvaccinated young adults may put themselves at risk as well as groups for whom measles is particularly dangerous, such as pregnant women and those who are immunocompromised.
The vaccine is offered to children at one year of age, followed by a pre-school booster at 3 years and 4 months. Anyone who thinks that they may have contracted measles should call ahead to their GP surgery before attending.