Measles

Measles, symptoms and vaccinations

If you're not vaccinated, you're not protected.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has declared a national incident. This means cases of measles are on the rise in England and there is a growing public health risk. Measles is a highly infectious disease and spreads very easily among those who are not vaccinated, especially in nurseries and schools. Measles can be a very unpleasant illness and in some children can be very serious, leading to hospitalisation and tragically even death in rare cases. People in certain at-risk groups including babies and young children, pregnant women, and people with weakened immunity, are at increased risk of complications from measles.

There’s no specific medical treatment for measles, so it’s important to get the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine as it’s the best protection against becoming seriously unwell. The MMR vaccine is free for everyone at any age, and is a safe and effective way of protecting against measles, as well as mumps and rubella. Having 2 doses of the MMR vaccine will give lifelong protection. Over 99% of those who have 2 doses of the MMR vaccine will be protected against measles and rubella, and the vaccine also protects against mumps.

MMR vaccine is one of the routine childhood vaccinations, so most children are already vaccinated against measles. If your child has received both doses of the vaccine, they are unlikely to have the virus.

Who can get the vaccine?

We urge parents whose children missed out, or anyone of any age who has not yet had 2 MMR vaccines, to come forward and get vaccinated. It's never too late to catch up.

A video of Consultant Epidemiologist at UKHSA, Dr Colin Campbell, explains who can have the MMR vaccine and why the World Health Organization (WHO) has set an MMR vaccination target of 95% of the population.

How do I know if my child or I have been vaccinated?

If you're not sure if you've had 2 doses of the MMR vaccine, you should:

  • Check your personal child health record (red book) that is used to record your child's weight and height, vaccinations and other important information. More about the red book.
  • Contact your GP practice in the usual way. 

What are the symptoms of measles?

Measles usually starts with cold-like symptoms, followed by a rash a few days later.

Some people may also get small spots in their mouths.

What should I do if I have symptoms of measles?

If your child has been diagnosed with measles, they should stay off nursery or school for at least 4 days from when the rash first appears. They should also avoid close contact with babies and anyone who is pregnant or has a weakened immune system.

If you think you or your child may have measles, to stop the virus spreading, you should:

  • Stay at home and phone your GP for an urgent appointment (don’t go to the GP or any other healthcare setting without calling ahead first as measles spreads very quickly and easily and it's important to prevent the illness from spreading further); or
  • Call 111; or
  • Get help from 111 online

Measles usually starts to get better in about a week. Find out how to look after yourself or your child on the NHS website.

Where should I go to get vaccinated?

If you've not had 2 doses of the MMR vaccine:

  • Children aged 1-4 years: contact your GP to get vaccinated.
  • Primary school-aged children: will be offered their vaccination by the school nurse. Your school nurse will contact you. 
  • Secondary school children: will be offered their vaccination by the school nurse. Your school nurse will contact you.
  • Sixth form and college students: will be offered a vaccination on-site. Your sixth form or college provider will make you aware of the MMR vaccine clinic dates and times. 
  • School staff: if there is an on-site vaccination clinic you should use this. Alternatively, you should contact your GP or visit one of the drop-in clinics - details of clinics are listed on this page. 
  • Adults aged 16 years and over: you need to contact your GP or visit a drop-in clinic to get vaccinated.
  • Individuals who work in high-risk closed settings, for example in some NHS, social care and prison settings where infection needs to be identified quickly to minimise outbreaks. You should contact your GP or visit one of the drop-in clinics.

Drop-in clinics

If you or your child have not had 2 MMR vaccines, you can visit a drop-in clinic:

  • If you're unable to accept the appointment you've been offered at school, sixth form or college.
  • If you are 4 years old and over.
  • If you would prefer to visit a drop-in clinic.

Please only visit the clinics at the times indicated and avoid ringing for appointments. 

Date of drop-in clinic: Saturday, 2 March 2024
Age: for people aged 4 years old and over
Time: 12noon–4pm (last walk-in 15 minutes before close)
Location of clinic: Rochdale Infirmary, Quarry, Street Entrance, Main Outpatients, Rochdale OL12 0QF


Date of drop-in clinic: Wednesday, 6 March 2024
Age: for people aged 4 years old and over
Time: 11am–4pm (last walk-in 15 minutes before close)
Location of clinic: Number One Riverside, Smith Street, Rochdale OL16 1XU


Date of drop-in clinic: Wednesday, 13 March 2024
Age: for people aged 4 years old and over
Time: 3.30pm–6pm (last walk-in 15 minutes before close)
Location of clinic: Rochdale Infirmary, Quarry, Street Entrance, Main Outpatients, Rochdale OL12 0QF


Date of drop-in clinic: Saturday, 23 March 2024
Age: for people aged 4 years old and over
Time: 12noon–4pm (last walk-in 15 minutes before close)
Location of clinic: Rochdale Infirmary, Quarry, Street Entrance, Main Outpatients, Rochdale OL12 0QF


Date of drop-in clinic: Monday, 25 March 2024
Age: for people aged 4 years old and over
Time: 3.30pm–6pm (last walk-in 15 minutes before close)
Location of clinic: Rochdale Infirmary, Quarry, Street Entrance, Main Outpatients, Rochdale OL12 0QF