The NHS in Cheshire and Merseyside is encouraging people to check that they and their children have had two doses of the MMR vaccine. This in response to the rise in measles cases across the country.

Measles is one of the world's most infectious diseases. It is more than just a rash and is a serious risk to those who are unvaccinated.

Measles symptoms can 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. 

The infection can also lead to serious complications such as ear infections, pneumonia, and inflammation of the brain that can have very serious long term and life changing consequences. 

Anyone with symptoms is advised to stay at home and phone their GP or NHS 111 for advice, rather than visiting the surgery or A&E, to prevent the illness spreading further. 

Children showing symptoms of measles should not attend school.

Protect yourself against measles with the MMR vaccine

The free MMR vaccine is a safe and effective way of protecting against measles, as well as mumps and rubella.

It’s important for parents to take up the offer of MMR vaccination for their children when offered at 1 year of age and as a pre-school booster at three years, four months of age. If children and young adults have missed these vaccinations in the past, it’s important to take up the vaccine now, particularly in light of the recent cases.

Check your child’s Red Book to see if they’ve received MMR vaccinations as scheduled or check with your GP surgery if you’re unsure. It is never too late to catch up. The MMR vaccine is free on the NHS, whatever your age.

How to book your MMR vaccine

  • Contact your GP practice to book an appointment or
  • Visit the Living Well Bus - The Living Well Service, delivered by Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, will be at selected locations across Cheshire and Merseyside, offering routine UK immunisations, including MMR, to eligible individuals of all ages from 12 February 2024. Visit

More information about measles

The NHS measles page offers facts, advice, and support.

More information on the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine.

Page last reviewed: 22 February 2024

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