We have been contacted by the NHS School Age Immunisation Team to alert us to the rapid increase of measles and mumps cases resulting in the loss of UK measles elimination status.

In 2018 Public Health England (PHE) reported there was a marked increase in the number of confirmed measles cases, with 991 confirmed cases in England and Wales, compared with 284 cases in 2017.

PHE Provisional data has indicated there were 5,042 recorded cases of mumps in England in 2019 – four times the number in 2018 and the highest level in a decade.

The rise in the incidence of measles and mumps is directly linked to the fall-off in Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccination rates.

In order to address this extremely worrying situation in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent NHS England and NHS Improvement have announced a school based MMR catch up programme. This will commence from March 2020 for children in school years 8, 9 and 10 who are deemed eligible by missing one or both doses of MMR on the child health information system (CHiS).

This link provides information about measles and the benefits of the MMR vaccine. As a first step we hope you will be able to help us raise awareness and uptake of the MMR vaccination by sharing this link with parents/carers in the relevant year groups (school years 8,9,10) via your electronic communications.

Luke Baker, Assistant Headteacher, said: “We will inform parents of the ‘catch-up’ opportunity when we have the details and our advice would always be to have these immunisations.”