Young adults across the region are being encouraged to get their MMR vaccine

NHS Greater Manchester is urging anyone aged 16-25 years old who hasn’t had their MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccination, to get their jab as soon as possible, as measles cases continue to rise.

From Tuesday 18th June, young adults across the city will receive letters and texts from the NHS to let them know they’ve not had their MMR jab, or that they have missed one of the two doses and need to catch up.

Any young person who hasn’t had their jab will then be able to book an appointment with their GP or visit one of the Greater Manchester pharmacies offering MMR vaccinations without an appointment.

This new  push is part of a wider MMR vaccine catch-up campaign, targeting Greater Manchester and other areas that have a higher number of people not up to date with their MMR vaccinations.

Earlier this year, over a million parents and carers of 6-11 years-olds in England who haven’t had the vaccine, were contacted by the NHS and invited to book an appointment for their child to have their MMR vaccine or catch-up on any missed doses.

Get your vaccine from a pharmacy

In April, 15 pharmacies in Greater Manchester began taking part in a North West pilot, offering the vaccine for free – joining 28 other pharmacies in the region to be the first in the country to take part in the trial.

For the first time, this meant anyone aged 5 or over could walk into one of the pharmacies to get their free vaccination, without an appointment.

Measles is one of the world’s most infectious diseases

Estimates show that one infected person can pass measles on to around 15 other unvaccinated people. The disease can spread very easily, especially in nurseries, schools and universities.

Catching measles can lead to serious issues for adults and children, such as blindness, deafness and swelling of the brain (encephalitis). Babies, pregnant women, and people with a weakened immune system, are more at risk of these complications.

There is currently no treatment for measles, but two doses of the MMR vaccine can give someone lifelong protection against becoming seriously unwell with the disease.

Dr Helen Wall, Clinical Director for Population Health at NHS Greater Manchester said:

“With cases of measles rising in Greater Manchester and nationally, it’s more important than ever that young people make sure they have had both doses of the MMR vaccine.

“Measles doesn’t just affect children, it can affect people of all ages. If you’re not fully vaccinated you are more likely to get seriously ill and end up in hospital.

“The vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and others – just two doses can give life-long protection against becoming seriously unwell. That’s why we are urging anyone aged 16-25 who hasn’t had both doses of the MMR vaccine to find their nearest pharmacy offering the vaccine, or contact their GP for an appointment.

“If you’re unsure if you are up to date with the MMR vaccine, you can check on the NHS app or contact your GP surgery. For anyone whose records are not up to date or it’s unclear either way, then we recommend getting the MMR vaccine anyway just to be safe.”

Vaccines save lives

In the United Kingdom, the MMR vaccine has prevented over 20 million cases of measles since the 1980s, according to data from UKHSA. Data also shows that over 4,500 lives, or 81 lives a year in the United Kingdom have been saved thanks to the vaccine.

Measles symptoms

Symptoms of measles appear 7-10 days after contact with the virus and include:

  • cold-like symptoms such as runny or blocked nose, sneezing and cough
  • red, sore, watery eyes
  • high temperature (fever), which may reach around 40OC / 104OF
  • a non-itchy, red-brown rash usually appears 3-5 days later (sometimes starts around the ears before spreading to rest of the body), spots may be raised and join to form blotchy patches – which may be harder to see on darker skin tones
  • small white spots may appear inside cheeks and the back of lips (for a few days)

More information about the symptoms can be found here: Measles – NHS (

If you or a family member is showing any symptoms of measles, phone your GP.

Please do not go to your GP, walk-in centre or any other healthcare setting without calling ahead, as you could spread the infection to others.



Pharmacies in Greater Manchester offering the MMR vaccine

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