A major vaccination programme has started in schools in the Swansea area in a bid to tackle the growing measles epidemic. This is from Wales Online…
Nurses will be entering four schools in Swansea and one in Neath Port Talbot throughout the week as they try to curb the spread of the current outbreak of the potentially fatal virus, which has seen cases rise to 765 and 77 people hospitalised.
The campaign began today as health officials visited three of the five schools with the highest number of known ‘at risk’ pupils.
It is thought that around 5,000 children in the Swansea area alone are still not protected by the MMR following Andrew Wakefield’s now discredited research which linked the jab with autism.
ABMU’s director of public health, Sara Hayes, said: “Measles is a horrible disease and the number of cases is still growing. It is one of the most contagious viruses in the world.
“MMR is a simple and safe jab which will protect them during this serious measles outbreak. I would urge parents of unvaccinated or under-vaccinated children to sign the consent form so our nurses can give them an MMR jab in school.”
Ryan Davies, headteacher of Bishop Gore Comprehensive School in Swansea where 488 pupils were estimated to be at risk, said: “It’s incredibly important to get these pupils vaccinated. Ideally we would like to have all the at risk pupils vaccinated. We had about 50% of consent letters come back at this time, but some of those parents who have not agreed may have organised vaccinations with their GP or other clinics.
“In terms of absence rates, we have been quite badly affected by it in the last few days, and particularly before the Easter holidays.”
Measles latest: School vaccination programme begins today