The Canterbury Hub

Latest news from CCCU's Journalism course


Explained: Why people in Kent are being urged to get vaccinated

The measles, mumps and rubella vaccination rates in Kent are below the 95% level that the World Health Organisation advise is needed to stop a measles outbreak.  

People have been urged by health professionals to ensure they are vaccinated as the vaccination level in Kent is only at 92.1%.  

New vaccination ‘catch-up’ centres have opened across the county which aim to ensure people up to the age of 19 are protected against these diseases.  

What is MMR? 

MMR stands for measles, mumps and rubella.  

They are all viral illnesses which are highly infectious and spread easily through coughing and sneezing, there are no medications to cure any of them. 

They can be stopped from spreading by the MMR vaccine which gives long-term protection against all three illnesses.  

What are the symptoms of MMR?  

The symptoms include a fever, swollen eyes, a cough and a red blotchy rash.  

It can cause serious problems, especially if it spreads to the brain.  

In some cases, it can cause brain damage and death.  

Residents in Margate will be able to get their vaccines here tomorrow.

What does the vaccine do?  

The vaccine gives protection against measles, mumps and rubella two weeks after it is received.  

It is a live vaccine which contains weakened versions of the illnesses.  It is given as an injection into the upper arm or thigh. 

The NHS reported that after two doses, 99% of people will be protected against measles and rubella while 88% of people will be protected against mumps.  

Who can get the vaccine?  

It can be given at any age.  

It is especially important that children, people who are travelling and healthcare workers get the vaccine as they are most susceptible to catching the illnesses. 

People born between 1970 and 1990 are encouraged to contact their GP surgery as they may not have been vaccinated against all three infections.  

You cannot have the vaccine if you are pregnant, have a weakened immune system or if you have previously had an allergic reaction to the vaccine.  

Where are the vaccination centres in Kent?  

There are immunisation community centres open tomorrow (March 23rd) at Quarterdeck Youth Centre in Margate, Clover St Clinic in Chatham, 9th Scout Hall in Dartford, Sevenoaks Hospital and Tonbridge Cottage Hospital.  

On the April 2 there are centres opened at Greenbanks in Margate and Deal Community Clinic.  

 Feature image credit: Unsplash