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Last Updated: Thursday, 9 March 2006, 18:51 GMT
Town gets double dose of diseases
Measles vaccine
The MMR vaccine was introduced in the UK in 1988
Doncaster has been hit by a double dose of highly infectious diseases according to health officials in the town.

In January, 36 children were diagnosed with mumps in addition to a measles outbreak that is being described as one of the worse in the country.

There have already been 22 cases of measles, a disease which has not been seen in the town for five years, and another 18 cases are suspected.

Parents are urged to let children have the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine.

Vaccine uptake fallen

Dr Wendy Phillips of the South Yorkshire Health Protection Agency said a fall in the number of children being vaccinated was partly to blame for the outbreaks.

"I think it is very bad for Doncaster," she said.

"The uptake of vaccines has fallen off and as every year goes by we have a larger and larger number of people without the vaccine.

"The advice is that when you're called to take your child for a jab, you go for the jab and if you've missed it then make an appointment with your GP."

The measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) immunisation was introduced in the UK in 1988.

Legal action

Children are given a first dose between 12 to 15 months old and a second, booster dose, at between three and five years old.

But about 2,000 families have taken legal action claiming their children have been damaged by the MMR jab, with many believing it has triggered autism.

In December 2005, Julie Kirkbride, Conservative MP for Bromsgrove launched a bid to allow children to be immunised separately against the three diseases

But the Department of Health said there was no evidence to suggest that separating the vaccines is safer.

Measles outbreak affects children
02 Mar 06 |  South Yorkshire


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