Thousands of Swansea children still to have MMR jab as fears over scale of epidemic worsen

Health Secretary urges parents whose children aren't vaccinated to take action

At least 5,000 children in an area hit by a measles epidemic have yet to have the MMR jab despite a massive vaccination take-up over Easter.

Numbers of children with measles in the Swansea area will continue to rise over coming weeks before the spread of the disease peaks, experts warn.

The South Wales epidemic is one of the largest measles outbreaks to hit Britain in the last decade.

The number of sufferers stood at 693 at the end of last week after 73 cases were reported in two days.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has urged parents who chose not to get their children vaccinated to act now.

Andrew Wakefield was struck off the medical register for his discredited research which claimed to find a link between autism and the MMR vaccine.

The study, published in 1998, caused a global scare and, in the following years, uptake levels of the vaccination - which protects against measles, mumps and rubella - fell significantly

Today Mr Hunt said: “Disgraced doctor Andrew Wakefield's discredited and inaccurate research caused great harm to the MMR vaccination programme and led to thousands of parents choosing not to vaccinate their children against measles, mumps and rubella.

“Today I am urging all parents, anywhere in England, who did not get their child vaccinated with two doses of MMR because of scare stories a decade ago to contact their GP surgery and make an appointment.”

Special vaccination sessions at four hospitals in South Wales saw thousands flock to get their children vaccinated over Easter.

A total of 1,750 MMR jabs were given during the first weekend of the school Easter break and a further 1,700 at similar sessions on Saturday.

Vaccination sessions are due to begin tomorrow at a handful of schools in the worst-affected areas.

But while progress has been welcomed by Public Health Wales it is estimated that up to 40,000 children across Wales remain unprotected.

And Mark Drakeford, Wales' minister for health and social services, warned today that the numbers affected will continue to rise.

"It is important for us all to remember measles is not a trivial illness. In a minority of cases, it can lead to serious complications and it can be fatal," he said in a written statement.

"Regrettably, the more the disease continues to spread, the more likely these outcomes become. It is vital we build on the progress made so far and bring the outbreak under control."

 

PA

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
News
peopleComedian launches stinging attack on PM
Life and Style
The collection displayed Versace’s softer side, with models wearing flowers and chiffon dresses in unusual colourings
fashionVersace haute couture review
News
Andy Murray shakes hands after defeating Andreas Seppi of Italy in the third round of Wimbledon, Saturday 4 July, 2015
Wimbledon
Arts and Entertainment
'The Leaf'
artYes, it's a leaf, but a potentially very expensive one
News
Yoko Ono at the Royal Festival Hall for Double Fantasy Live
people'I wont let him destroy memory of John Lennon or The Beatles'
News
Could Greece leave the EU?
news
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: Home Care / Support Workers

    £7 - £10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This care provider is looking for Home ...

    Recruitment Genius: Web Team Leader

    £30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading web des...

    Recruitment Genius: Client Manager

    £27000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A growing, successful, friendly...

    Recruitment Genius: Property Negotiator - OTE £20,000+

    £16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This family owned, independent ...

    Day In a Page

    The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

    Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

    Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
    Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

    'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

    Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
    Compton Cricket Club

    Compton Cricket Club

    Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
    London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

    Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

    'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

    It helps a winner keep on winning
    Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

    Is this the future of flying?

    Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
    Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

    Isis are barbarians

    but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
    The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

    Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

    Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
    Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

    'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

    Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
    Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

    Call of the wild

    How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
    Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

    'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

    If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
    The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

    The science of swearing

    What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
    Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

    Africa on the menu

    Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
    Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

    Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

    The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'