Immunisation Programmes

The measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination was introduced in 1988 and forms a key part of the current immunisation schedule.

Coverage initially exceeded 90% and measles notifications declined to their lowest point in UK history. Uptake of the vaccine fell, however, between 1995 and 2003, resulting in measles outbreaks in the period 2006 to 2008.

Similarly, the incidence of rubella has been markedly reduced over recent decades. As a consequence, many junior clinicians lack experience in dealing with the clinical features of rubella.

The side effects of the MMR vaccine are a fever, usually in the second week after immunisation, and a rash.