Parents have been urged to give their youngsters the measles jab

Youngsters who missed out on the measles vaccination are being urged to have the jab to end the spread of the disease.

Many children would have missed out on the vaccine during the late 1990s and 2000s due to the fact it was thought that the vaccine was linked to autism.

Dr Alison Teale, a member of Staffordshire County Council’s public health team, said: “Around 95 per cent of Staffordshire children under the age of five years old have had the MMR jab and are fully protected, which is a reassuringly high figure.

“However, a national catch-up programme is being introduced to vaccinate 10 to 16 year olds who have not had the full two doses of MMR. Many in this age range missed out on the jabs when public concern about MMR, which has now been disproved, was at its highest.”

Elaine Michel, Derbyshire’s director of public health, added: “Measles is an extremely serious but completely preventable disease so it is reassuring that the vast majority of parents in Derbyshire have been making sure their children are immunised.

“We want that to continue so I would urge parents to check their children have had the MMR vaccination and, if not, urgently ensure they get at least one dose from their GP.

“Our main target group is children and young people, but it’s never too late to get vaccinated. It’s so easy to protect yourself and your family and there’s no shortage of vaccines.”

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