If we're not vaccinated, we're not protected

Warrington Borough Council’s public health team is urging local people to check that they and their children have had the MMR vaccine that protects against measles. 


With measles continuing to increase across the country – and cases now in Warrington - it is particularly important for people to make sure they are vaccinated.

Nationally, the majority of cases have been in children under the age of 10. However, the current outbreak has been affecting people of all ages, with many of these cases linked to nurseries and schools.

Over half of those affected have required hospital treatment. In most of these cases the person was unvaccinated or had only had one dose of the vaccine.

Measles is a highly infectious disease that is spread through coughing and sneezing. It can lead to serious problems such as pneumonia, bronchitis, ear infections and on rare occasions, long-term disability or death.

Measles symptoms to be aware of include:

• high fever

• sore, red, watery eyes

• coughing

• small greyish-white spots in the mouth

• aching and feeling generally unwell

• a blotchy red brown rash, which usually appears after the initial symptoms.

Measles is more contagious than COVID-19 and being in close contact with someone who has the virus is enough to catch it if you are not vaccinated. Just one person can pass the virus on to 15-20 people if they are in close proximity for a short period of time.

Measles isn’t just a just a childhood disease – it can make adults seriously unwell too. People in certain risk groups including babies and young children, pregnant women, and people with weakened immunity, are at increased risk of complications from measles.

The free MMR vaccine is a safe and effective way of protecting against measles, as well as mumps and rubella. The vaccine only takes a few minutes, it is given as an injection into the muscle of the thigh or upper arm. Having two doses of the MMR vaccine at the right time (dose 1 from 12 months, and dose 2 from 3 years 4 months) is the best way to protect you and help prevent it spreading, especially to those most vulnerable.

If anyone has missed one or both doses of the MMR vaccine, contact your GP practice to book an appointment.

David Herne, Director of Public Health at Warrington Borough Council said: “With measles cases increasing nationally and with the first cases here in Warrington, it’s vital that we send out the message to everyone to check your children’s as well as your own MMR status and ensure that you have had both doses.

“If you are not protected, please take action now. The MMR vaccine is the best way to protect ourselves and our loved ones and prevent the illness spreading further.”

Anyone with symptoms of measles is advised to stay at home and phone their GP practice or NHS 111 for advice before visiting the practice or A&E.

For more information about the MMR vaccine, visit the NHS website.