Young people urged to come forward for MMR vaccine, as campaign extends to 16–25 year-olds

Young people in the North West are being urged to take up the offer of the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine, amid rising cases of measles.

NHS vaccination leads in the region are calling on 16–25-year-olds to catch up on missed doses when the next phase of the vaccination campaign starts on Tuesday 18 June.

The NHS will send letters and texts to around 450,000 people aged 16-25 in the North West, inviting them to come forward for the vital vaccination at a pharmacy or their GP practice.

It follows on from a drive earlier this year to get more children aged 5 to 11 protected with the MMR vaccine, with uptake of both doses in that age group significantly lower than the World Health Organisation target of 95% coverage with two doses by 5 years.

The North West was the first place in the country to start offering the MMR vaccine in some community pharmacies and the offer is now being extended to include all eligible people aged 5 to 25.

The NHS in the North West is also expanding the number of pharmacies offering the vaccine to make it easier for people to get their MMR in a pharmacy closer to where they live. You can click here for a list of participating pharmacies.

Eligible people will be able to walk in to participating pharmacies, or phone directly to make an appointment.

Dr Linda Charles-Ozuzu, Regional Director of Commissioning at NHS England – North West, said:


“With cases of measles rising in the North West and nationally, it’s so important that young people have both doses of the MMR vaccine.

“Historically there has been lower uptake of the vaccine in the 16-25 age group, but the NHS has seen evidence that these people are more likely to get seriously ill with measles and are more likely to be hospitalised.

“The MMR vaccine is the most effective way to protect yourself, so I would urge anyone aged 16 to 25 who has not had both doses to find their nearest pharmacy offering the MMR vaccine, or contact their GP surgery for an appointment.”

Measles is very infectious, and spreads very quickly among communities if people are not up to date with their MMR vaccine. The vaccine is safe and two doses gives very effective and long lasting protection against measles, mumps and rubella.

Measles doesn’t just affect children, you can catch measles and become very unwell at any age. If you’re unsure if you have had one or both doses of the MMR vaccine, you can check on the NHS app, or contact your GP surgery.

Measles can start out with a runny nose and a cough, and so can be easy to miss until a rash forms.

Measles symptoms include:

  • high fever
  • sore, red, watery eyes
  • coughing
  • aching and feeling generally unwell
  • a blotchy red brown rash, which usually appears after the initial symptoms.

If people develop any symptoms of measles, they should contact their GP surgery by phone. Please do not go to your GP, walk-in centre or any other healthcare setting without calling ahead, as measles is very infectious and so arrangements can be made to prevent others from being infected.

Find out more about MMR vaccination at