PARENTS of all pupils aged between 10 and 16 will be urged to get their children immunised against measles after it emerged that the number of confirmed cases is on course to double this year.
County council health chiefs hope their campaign will have an impact on the nearly two out of 10 youngsters in East Lancashire who are not fully immunised.
Last year, there were 96 confirmed measles cases in Lancashire but, in the first six months of 2013 alone, there have been 92.
While 94 per cent of youngsters have had their first MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) jabs, that figure drops to 82 per cent for the follow-up inoculation.
The county council campaign is aimed at the parents of 10 to 16-year-olds who may not have had both vaccinations.
County councillor Azhar Ali, health and wellbeing cabinet member, said: “Measles is a highly infectious disease that can be very serious, leading to ear infections, fits, brain damage and even death.
“Since January this year there have been more 92 cases of measles in Lancashire, with children aged 10 to 16 most affected.
“Through this campaign we are urging parents and children to make sure they get the full benefits of vaccination by visiting their local GP.
“If people can't remember how many doses they have had, their GP will have a record.
“Don’t take any risks with your child’s health – get them vaccinated now.”
Posters are being sent out to secondary schools across East Lancashire and the campaign will also focus on the parents of year five and six children.
Children who received the single measles vaccine are protected against measles but their parents are being encouraged to arrange for them to get the full MMR vaccine to ensure that they are also protected against mumps and rubella.