The MMR vaccine - Information for parents & carers

Dear parent or carer,

The Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine

With the summer break just around the corner and the school term nearing an end, now
is a good time to check if your child is fully vaccinated against measles. We are currently
seeing an increase in the number of people getting ill with measles.
Measles is a highly infectious viral illness that can be very unpleasant and can
sometimes lead to serious complications such as infection of the lungs (pneumonia) or
swelling of the brain (encephalitis).

There’s a free vaccine available, which is over 95% effective in protecting you and your
child against measles. It’s called the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine. It’s
given in two doses as part of NHSScotland’s childhood vaccination programme and it
also protects against mumps and rubella. The first dose is offered when children are
around 12 months old, followed by a second dose from age 3 years 4 months. It is
important to get both doses.

If your child missed these when offered, please get them vaccinated. This is particularly
important if your child is about to start S1 or if they’re moving school, when they’ll be
mixing with lots of new children. It’s also important for everyone who plans to travel to an
area outside Scotland this summer, which is considered to have a high risk of exposure
to measles. Children may be able to get vaccinated earlier than normal if you’re travelling
to one of these areas. For more information, visit

What you need to do...

• Check your child’s Red Book to make sure they've received both doses of the
MMR vaccine.

• If you do not have your child’s Red Book to hand, you can speak to your local NHS
immunisation team. Contact details are available at or by calling 0800 22 44 88.

• Check that you and other adults in the family have been vaccinated against measles.
You can do this by asking your GP practice for a record of your vaccination history.
The MMR vaccine is highly effective in preventing measles, so if your child has had two
doses, you do not need to take any further action.

How to arrange vaccination...

Visit to find out how to get vaccinated. You
can also find out more about the symptoms of measles, how it’s spread and when to get
medical advice.

If you have recently moved to Scotland, make sure you're up to date with vaccinations
offered for free by NHSScotland. You may be eligible for additional vaccines that were
not available where you lived previously. For more information, visit


Yours faithfully,

Dr Sam Ghebrehewet
Head of Vaccination and Immunisation
Public Health Scotland

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