PARENTS in Bradford are being urged to ensure their children have the MMR vaccine.

Britain has lost its “measles-free” status with the World Health Organisation (WHO) three years after the virus was eliminated in the country.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called for health leaders to renew their efforts to ensure 95 per cent of the population have had both doses of the vaccine.

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council's Portfolio Holder for Healthy People and Places said: “For the second MMR dose, Bradford is currently higher than the average for England, but is not currently high enough to prevent the spread of measles in our communities and so we advise that measles, mumps and rubella are highly infectious conditions that can have serious, potentially fatal complications, including meningitis, swelling of the brain (encephalitis) and deafness.

"They can also lead to complications in pregnancy that affect the unborn baby, and can lead to miscarriage.

“MMR is a safe and effective combined vaccine that protects against three separate illnesses which are measles, mumps and rubella (German measles) in a single injection. The full course of MMR vaccination requires 2 doses."

She added: “The MMR vaccine is given on the NHS to babies as part of their routine vaccination schedule, usually within a month of their first birthday.

"They will then have a second injection of the vaccine before starting school, usually at three years and four months. If parents are unsure whether their child is up to date with their MMR they can check with their GP.”

Measles symptoms to be aware of 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

Dr Louise Clarke, clinical lead for young people for NHS Bradford district and Craven CCGs, added: “We strongly encourage parents to ensure their child has the MMR vaccine as measles is extremely infectious.

"The MMR vaccine is available for free to anyone who has not received both doses.

"Parents who are unsure if their child is up to date with their vaccinations or had the two MMR doses, should ask at their GP practice and book an appointment for the vaccination if not.

"If you think your child could have measles, it is really important to stay at home and away from areas where they could come into contact with lots of other people – especially in school or other public areas.”