Teens' unknown MMR status.



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The Department of Health is urging teenagers to check their measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) immunisation status, after finding that nearly a quarter of 1001 16- to 18-year old survey respondents did not know if they had been vaccinated.

Unite/CPHVA professional officer Ros Godson stated: 'There is little financial incentive for GPs to offer MMR jabs to older children. The quality of framework targets are for under-fives. Therefore, the onus is on the young person themselves to go to the GP and ask for their status. As we know, most people attend the GP when they are ill and not to access preventative services such as immunisations. The other group likely to attend are those who want contraceptive services, but the service needs to be geared up to also check immunisation status.'

According to the Health Protection Agency, there were 2224 confirmed cases of mumps among 15- to 19-year-olds in England and Wales between January and November 2009. Ros commented: 'The large school-based catch-up campaigns offered to every child from year one to year 11 in 1994 only provided them with measles and rubella vaccine and not the full MMR jab.'

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