Catch up on jabs as part of Easter holiday prep

Doctor puts plaster on young girl's arm following vaccination

Health chiefs are urging parents and carers to check their children are up to date with their vaccines ahead of the Easter holidays.

Children who have missed out on important vaccinations – such as measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) – are at risk of serious illness.

With families likely to travel over the school break, the chance of infection increases but there is still time to get protected.

Parents and carers who are unsure if their child is up to date with their MMR vaccines can check their Red Book health record. If you are still not sure, you can contact your GP practice, who is also able to offer catch-up appointments.

Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust’s (KCHFT) School-aged Immunisation Service is running catch-up clinics across Kent and Medway on Saturday, 16th March, and Saturday, 23th March for school-aged children and teens up to 19.

Being up to date with vaccinations can help ensure you have a holiday to remember for all the right reasons

These must be booked beforehand by contacting the service on 0300 123 5205 or email – or book using the service’s webchat.

Parents of two and three-year-olds can still have a free, nasal spray flu vaccine at their GP practice until the end of March.

Head shot of Kate Langford

...vaccines provide the best protection from very serious diseases

Dr Kate Langford Chief Medical Officer at NHS Kent and Medway

Dr Kate Langford, Chief Medical Officer at NHS Kent and Medway, said: “Parents want what is best for their children and vaccines provide the best protection from very serious diseases.

“Measles is a terrible illness and, in some cases, children may need to be admitted to hospital for treatment. This can be prevented by two doses of the MMR vaccine, which has been proven to be safe and effective.”

Headshot of Dr Anjan Ghosh

...through two doses of the MMR vaccine measles is preventable

Dr Anjan Ghosh KCC Director of Public Health

KCC Director of Public Health, Dr Anjan Ghosh, said: "Measles can make people very unwell, one in five children who catch it need hospital care and on rare occasions it can claim lives – yet through two doses of the MMR vaccine measles is preventable.

“MMR is safe and effective, providing life-long protection, it’s free on the NHS and, whatever your age, it’s never too late to catch up."