SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2016

More than 200,000 MMR vaccines ordered by U.K. doctors

More than 95 percent of U.K. general practitioner offices have ordered additional MMR vaccines, which will require a total of more than 200,000 MMR vaccines to keep up supplies for the national catch-up program.

The MMR vaccine is developed to fight against measles, mumps and rubella. It is generally administered to children under one year of age, however, it can be given to people who are older.

The catch-up program, which is being run by Public Health England and the Department of Health, is attempting to prevent measles outbreaks in 10-to-16-year-olds. There is a large gap in vaccinations because of a wide spread fear in the late 1990s and early 2000s when a faulty link between the vaccines and autism was made public.

"The best way to beat measles is to protect people before measles catches them," Professor David Salisbury, director of immunization at the Department of Health, said. "It's encouraging that GPs have taken up the challenge wholeheartedly and ordered almost a quarter of a million extra doses of MMR, so we know they are ready to vaccinate people. The best thing that parents can do, if their children have not had two doses of MMR, is to make an appointment with the GP now."

The newest figures show that confirmed cases of measles are still high, coming off a record high late last year. Other numbers show MMR coverage among five-year-olds is at its highest levels ever, making the recent vaccination efforts a success.