In light of new data which demonstrates that the cases of mumps has tripled in the first quarter of this year, Public Health England has urged patients to ensure that they have received the MMR vaccine.
The MMR vaccine is provided by the NHS as a single injection to babies, as part of their routine vaccination schedule, usually within a month of their first birthday. A second injection of the vaccine is given before starting school, usually around the age of three years. The MMR vaccine is also available to all adults and children who have not had both doses.
Mumps cases increased from 275 in the first quarter of 2018 to 795 in the first quarter of 2019. There were only 1,031 cases of mumps in the whole of 2018. Cases of measles have also more than doubled since the least quarter of 2019 increasing from 97 cases in Q4 2018 to 231 in Q1 2019.
Similarly to other the US, there are increasing concerns of the effects of misinformation being spread about vaccines, leading to a number of patients choosing to avoid them. Public Health England has called for healthcare professionals to speak "confidently about the value of vaccines". Their research revealed that 93% of parents considered health care professionals to be their most trusted source of information on vaccines.
“Measles can kill and it is incredibly easy to catch, especially if you are not vaccinated,” said Mary Ramsay, head of immunisation at Public Health England. “Even one child missing their vaccine is one too many – if you are in any doubt about your child’s vaccination status, ask your GP as it’s never too late to get protected.”