Page last updated at 14:17 GMT, Monday, 18 May 2009 15:17 UK

Clinics to tackle measles' spread

MMR vaccine
Parents are urged to ensure their children get the MMR jab

More jab clinics have been set up after the number of cases of measles in a Teesside town doubled in a week.

There are now 22 confirmed cases in Hartlepool and 103 suspected cases.

A series of clinics is now being held in the town so parents can take along unimmunised children to try to stop the disease spreading.

Health chiefs said the uptake of the Measles Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine in the area is 82%, meaning almost one in five children is at risk.

Clinics will be held at the Rossmere Children's Centre, Rossmere Way, on 20, 21, 27 and 28 May between 1530 BST and 1800 BST and at Chatham Children's Centre, Chatham Road, on 3 June from midday until 1700 BST.

If children have had one dose of MMR but need a second booster vaccination, parents are advised to contact their doctor.

Peter Kelly, executive director of public health for Teesside, said: "These clinics are an ideal opportunity to protect your loved ones from measles, which is caused by a very infectious virus.

"The MMR vaccine is safe and effective, and can prevent illnesses that have real potential to cause serious harm."

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