On the agenda: Measles risk raised by MMR jab scare

Up to two million children could be susceptible to measles because of an unwarranted MMR vaccine scare 15 years ago, leading doctors have said.

MMR: Vaccine (Credit: UNP)
MMR: Vaccine (Credit: UNP)

In more detail

As a measles epidemic rages in Swansea, Dr David Elliman from the Royal College of Paediatrics Children’s Hospital (RCPCH) said there are a large number of unimmunised children around the ages of 11 and 12, who are at school and mixing with others, and increasing the potential for further breakouts of the disease.

While MMR jabs are being offered in schools in parts of mid and south Wales, experts are calling for a catch-up campaign to prevent the highly contagious disease spreading from Wales

to the rest of Britain. London is seen as particularly vulnerable because nearly half the city’s children were not vaccinated a decade ago. 

PR strategy

Following news of the outbreak in Swansea, the RCPCH press team worked with its immunisation expert Dr Elliman. The key messages focused on communicating the potential dangers of measles, warning that there are a significant number of children who have not had the vaccine and are at risk of contracting the disease.

Media coverage 

The story has been covered extensively across BBC News, Newsnight, ITV, Sky News and all the key nationals including The Daily Telegraph, The Times, The Independent and The Guardian. Dr Elliman has also taken part in radio phone-ins to offer advice to worried parents.

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