Hundreds queue for MMR jab as Welsh measles outbreak slows

 

Hundreds of anxious parents and their young children queued for hours at hospitals in South Wales yesterday for free MMR vaccinations aimed at curbing a measles epidemic. Officials say the outbreak has affected 588 people in parts of south, mid and west Wales. They said more than 800 MMR (mumps, measles and rubella) vaccinations were administered yesterday.

Public Health Wales (PHW) said the slowdown in the spread of the disease was due to a rise in the number of people being inoculated, but it warned 3,800 children had still not had both doses of the MMR vaccine necessary to achieve immunisation.

Dr Marion Lyons, director of health protection for PHW, said: "I'm hopeful that through our collective efforts and with responsible parents getting their children vaccinated, we can minimise the risks to children from this dreadful disease."

Some began waiting for the free jab session at Swansea's Morriston Hospital where the outbreak has centred, an hour before its doors opened at 10am. Similar free sessions, aimed at children but also available for anyone born after 1970 who had not had measles or been vaccinated, were also held in Neath, Port Talbot and Bridgend. PHW said just 600 people in the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board area received the jab in the past week, though that figure excluded children vaccinated as normal at 13 months and three years.

Officials said the vaccination programme appeared to be slowing the epidemic. There have been 47 new cases of the disease reported since Wednesday – less than half the increase of the previous week. Last month, a PHW official said it was "just a matter of time" before a child is left with serious and permanent complications, such as eye disorders, deafness or brain damage, or perhaps even dies.

Typical symptoms of measles include fever, cough, conjunctivitis or a rash, though ear infections, vomiting, diarrhoea, pneumonia and meningitis are common.

In England, the Health Protection Agency has already declared an outbreak of 200 confirmed and 176 suspected cases in the North-east, one of the worst incidents in recent years.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Web Application Developer / Software Developer

    £21000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This software development compa...

    Recruitment Genius: Brand Manager

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Do you wish to be part of an exciting journey ...

    Guru Careers: Talent Manager

    £30-35k (P/T - Pro Rata) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienc...

    Anna Woodward: Invoicing Clerk

    £21,500: Anna Woodward: The Accounts Payable team for this group is recruiting...

    Day In a Page

    HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

    Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

    Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
    How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

    Time to play God

    Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
    MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

    MacGyver returns, but with a difference

    Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
    Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

    Tunnel renaissance

    Why cities are hiding roads underground
    'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

    Boys to men

    The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
    Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

    Crufts 2015

    Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
    10 best projectors

    How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

    Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
    Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

    Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

    Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
    Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

    Monaco: the making of Wenger

    Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

    Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

    Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

    This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
    'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

    Homage or plagiarism?

    'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
    Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower