MMR against measles

Cases of measles are on the rise. Check you’ve been fully vaccinated against it.

Measles

In some parts of the UK and Europe, there’s been an increase in the number of people getting measles.

Measles is one of the most infectious diseases. It can lead to serious and potentially life-threatening complications in some people. These include infections of the lungs (pneumonia) and brain (encephalitis).

Measles is spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes. But you can prevent it by getting vaccinated.

NHS Scotland offers 2 doses of the measles , mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine to children at around 12 to 13 months, and 3 years 4 months. If it’s missed at these times, it can be given at any age.

Checking your vaccination record

NHS Scotland recommends the MMR vaccine to these groups, as they’re at higher risk of exposure to measles.

Children in primary or secondary school

Check your child’s Red Book or contact your local health board to find out if they’ve had 2 doses of the MMR vaccine. If you think they’ve not, arrange an appointment as soon as possible.

Find out how to arrange an appointment in your health board

Young people in college or university

Infectious diseases such as measles and meningitis can spread easily in college and university communities. More face-to-face contact means students are at higher risk of catching and passing on infections.

Read more about other vaccines you’re eligible for at vaccines for students.

If you’re 25 or under, you can find out if you’ve had 2 doses of the MMR vaccine by looking in your Red Book. You can also check for any other vaccines you’re eligible for in it. Ask your parent or carer if they have this. If not, or you’re over 25, phone your GP practice. They’ll check your records and advise if you need any additional vaccines. For example, MenACWY which protects against meningitis.

Contact your GP practice

If you’ve not received all the vaccines you’re eligible for, arrange an appointment as soon as possible.

Find out how to arrange an appointment in your health board.

Young people and families travelling in the UK or abroad

Travelling may increase your risk of measles. Your risk of exposure may be higher if you plan on visiting friends and relatives and/or mixing with other people during your trip.

If you have children, check their Red Book or contact local health board to find out if they’ve had 2 doses of the MMR vaccine. If you think they’ve not, arrange an appointment as soon as possible.

It’s important your child gets vaccinated, especially if you’re travelling to an area which is considered to have a high risk of exposure to measles. Your child may be able to get vaccinated earlier than normal if you’re travelling to one of these areas.

Find out how to arrange an appointment in your health board

Find out how to stay safe and healthy when travelling

Have you been vaccinated against measles before the MMR vaccine was available?

The MMR vaccine was introduced in the UK in 1988. If you were born before that, you may have received the measles vaccine, which was introduced in the UK in 1968.

People born in the UK before 1970 are likely to have had a measles infection and are less likely to be at risk. The MMR vaccine can be given on request or if they’re at high risk of exposure.

People born in the UK between 1970 and 1979 may have been vaccinated against measles. However, it’s recommended these people get the MMR vaccine, especially if they’re at high risk of exposure.

People are considered to be at high risk of exposure if they’re planning on travelling outside of Scotland or are likely to be mixing with lots of new people.

People born in the UK between 1980 and 1990 are likely to have been vaccinated against measles. They may have had only one dose of the MMR vaccine.

Phone your GP practice and they’ll check your records and advise if you need to be vaccinated.

Contact your GP practice

If you’ve not received all the vaccines you’re eligible for, arrange an appointment as soon as possible.

Find out how to arrange an appointment in your health board.

People who have recently moved to Scotland

If you’ve recently moved to Scotland, make sure you’re up to date with vaccinations offered for free by NHS Scotland. You may be eligible for additional vaccines that were not available where you lived previously.

Find out more about what vaccines are available in Scotland

Find out how to arrange an appointment in your health board.

Symptoms

Even if you’re fully vaccinated, it’s important to be aware of the symptoms of measles.

Read about the symptoms of measles and when to get medical advice