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HSE launches measles vaccination catch-up campaign

The HSE has launched its measles vaccination catch-up campaign to protect against the disease due to a rise in cases in the UK and Europe.

It will mainly be aimed at groups who may have missed the vaccine in the past such as children, young adults and health and care workers.

The MMR vaccine will be available free from GPs and HSE vaccination clinics, listed on its website.

Measles is a highly infectious disease that can cause serious complications, especially in children under one year, pregnant women and the immunosuppressed.

So far this year, there have been five confirmed cases and the death of a man in early February from the disease.

Dr Lucy Jessop, HSE National Immunisation Office, Consultant in Public Health Medicine, said that if people are unsure if they had the vaccine, they can check with their GP.

People born before 1978 are considered likely to have immunity to measles.

The campaign will also be aimed at students and underserved populations such as travellers, the homeless, refugees and those in custodial settings.

It is estimated that around 11% of the population aged 18-34 are not immune to measles.

Two doses of the MMR vaccine are needed to be considered fully vaccinated.

The first symptoms of measles are cold-like symptoms, aches and pains and about three to five days later a rash appears.

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