North East London Health and Care Partnership logo

MMR and Polio catch-up vaccinations

Parent of a child aged 1 to 11 who is not up-to-date with their routine vaccinations for polio and measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR vaccination)? Contact your GP or drop into a local clinic and catch up.

Why are we doing this?

Measles has been spreading in London. There is no cure and vaccination is the only protection against becoming seriously unwell. The virus infects the mouth, nose, throat and lungs, then spreads throughout the body, causing severe disease, which can result in complications and even death.

Measles usually starts with cold-like symptoms, followed by a rash a few days later. Some people may also get small spots in their mouth. If you think you or your child may have measles or if you are unvaccinated and have been in contact with someone who has contact your GP or 111. Measles can spread to others easily. Call your GP surgery before you go in.

Measles is one of the world’s most contagious diseases, spread by close or direct contact with an infected person via coughing or sneezing. One person infected by measles can infect nine out of 10 of their unvaccinated close contacts.

If you are vaccinated you are protected. The measles vaccine has been in use for about 60 years, is safe and effective and has reduced cases by 99.9% in the UK. It is usually incorporated with rubella and mumps vaccines in the MMR vaccination.

Polio can lead to paralysis and in some cases, even death. There is no cure for polio, vaccination is the only protection. In 2022, polio virus was found in sewage samples in London, suggesting that the virus has been spreading between people.

Most children in north east London (77%) have had both doses of the MMR vaccine by the age of 5 and three doses of the polio vaccine by age 5 (children get an additional polio dose at age 14).

Does my child need a catch-up dose?

You can search ‘NHS child vaccines’ online or visit nhs.uk/child-vaccines to see which vaccinations are given when. If you think your child might be behind on their MMR, polio or any other vaccination you can check your child’s health record (red book) or contact your GP to see if they are up to date.

How do I get a catch-up dose for my child?

Your GP can quickly arrange for you to catch up with vaccinations. If your child had first vaccinations abroad it is important you still have routine vaccinations here, and your GP can help arrange that. If you’re not registered with a GP, you can register online (anyone can register and you don’t need ID or proof of address).

Anyone can drop into a local clinic and catch up.

FAQs

In the UK, we have two MMR vaccines which work very well. One of them contains gelatine derived from pigs and the other one doesn’t. If you would prefer to have the vaccine that does not contain gelatine, please mention this when you book an appointment.

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/nhs-vaccinations-and-when-to-have-them/