A Salford mum, whose 10-year-old daughter died from measles complications urges parents and carers across Greater Manchester to make sure their children are fully vaccinated.

Following the launch of a campaign earlier in the month to drive up childhood vaccinations because of  concerns about a decline in uptake – a mum in Salford, whose 10-year-old daughter died from measles complications, has come forward to urge parents and carers across Greater Manchester to make sure their children are fully vaccinated.

Rebecca Archer,  wants to make sure everyone fully understands the importance of childhood vaccinations after losing her 10-year-old daughter, Renae, in September 2023 from problems caused by having measles as a baby.

Renae caught the infection at just five months old when she was too young to be vaccinated. She seemingly recovered after a few days of being poorly, but a decade later she developed a rare brain disease, subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE) caused by her previous measles infection which led to her death.

Measles is one of the world’s most infectious diseases with estimates showing that one infected adult or child can pass the disease onto around 15 other unvaccinated people. It spreads very easily among those who are unvaccinated, especially in nurseries, schools and universities.

Catching measles can lead to life changing issues for adults and children, such as blindness, deafness and swelling of the brain (encephalitis) – and those in certain groups, including babies, pregnant women, and people with weakened immunity, are at increased risk of these complications.

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

Dr Manisha Kumar, chief medical officer for NHS Greater Manchester said:

“Rebecca’s story is one example of many, that illustrate why we need to urgently reverse the decline in the uptake of childhood vaccinations, in order to protect not only ourselves and our families, but our wider communities.

“Two doses of the MMR vaccine are needed to get life-long protection against measles, mumps and rubella.  By ensuring you have both doses you not only protect you and your family against the illness, but also those who you come into contact with who may be vulnerable.”

Where to get help

You can find out more about the signs and symptoms of measles and what to do if you think you or someone you know has measles on our dedicated measles page. You can also find out more about the MMR vaccination and how to check if you are up to date with your vaccinations there.

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