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Parents urged to ensure children are up-to-date with immunisations before starting school

IMMUNISATION EXPERTS from Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board are asking parents to ensure their children are up-to-date with vaccinations before they start school this September.

Children receive inoculations during their early months to help protect them against preventable diseases including polio, diphtheria, whooping cough, measles and mumps.

They later need a four-in-one booster shot and second MMR jab – usually delivered aged around three years and four months – to be fully immunised.

Betsi Cadwaladr immunisation coordinator Leigh Pusey urged parents to make sure children preparing for their first day in class have received pre-school boosters to ensure protection against illness.

Leigh said: “When they start school in September, your child will mix with more children than before – often in classes and year groups which span dozens of households from across the whole community.

“As all parents know, small children play closely together and share toys, so illnesses can spread quickly.

“Thanks to successful vaccination programmes, conditions like measles and mumps are very rare – but they can still be serious. Any increase in person-to-person contact – like starting school – creates greater potential for these illnesses to circulate.

“Our teams are vigilant, and immunisation take-up rates in North Wales are high. But, to be as safe as possible, we need to continue to maintain the highest levels of full immunisation we possibly can.

“Please check that your child’s jabs are up to date. If they aren’t, it’s not too late to catch up – please make an appointment for them to receive the four-in-one pre-school booster and the second dose of the MMR vaccine from your health visitor as soon as you can.”