Measles and MMR update – January 2024

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As measles cases increase there is the potential for more patient queries in relation to measles and the MMR vaccine.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has recently published updated guidance regarding the management of suspected measles cases. This includes details on clinical diagnosis, public health management, and isolation of cases in primary care. There is also updated infection prevention and control guidance on risk assessment and IPC measures which supports the use of PPE including respiratory protective equipment. The London region has confirmed there is currently no additional funding for this equipment.

The mumps, measles and rubella vaccine (MMR) is part of the NHS Routine Childhood Immunisation Programme with the first dose offered at one year and a second dose at three years, four months. As part of the national MMR call/recall programme, reminders will be sent to the parents/guardians of children aged 6-11 years who require one or two doses of the MMR vaccine. In London where the risk of measles outbreaks is currently high, NHS England plans to extend the target age cohorts so that children and young adults aged 6-25 receive MMR vaccination reminders. Further information on the practice role and GP contract requirements in support of the national MMR campaign is available here.

Some patient-facing information advises patients that in outbreak situations the MMR vaccine may be available from the age of six months rather than one year. We have confirmed with the London Immunisations Team that there is currently no guidance or mechanism for this in place, and practices should await further information. Information on call/recall from the NHS London Region is available here. Translated versions of the invite letters to children and adults are available here.