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Over 1,000 MMR jabs given over weekend in response to measles outbreak

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Nurses working at special MMR drop-in clinics in South Wales helped vaccinate more than 1,000 children over the weekend, in the wake of a major measles outbreak.

Latest figures, released on Friday by Public Health Wales, suggest there have been at least 588 cases of measles during the outbreaks, which is centred on Swansea.

Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board held four drop-in vaccination clinics over the weekend, and said there had been a “fantastic response from parents”.

The clinics – at Morriston, Singleton, Neath Port Talbot and the Princess of Wales hospitals – were “extremely busy”, with parents starting to queue with their children up to an hour before the clinics were scheduled to start at 10am.

Sara Hayes, ABM University’s public health director, said: “We were hoping for 800 vaccinations across all four sites, but the actual figure is estimated to be around 50% higher, at 1,100 – 1,200.

Ms Hayes said: “We’ve vaccinated a wide range of age groups; mainly children – but also some of their parents, and other adults.”

But she added that there was “still more to do” and that the drop-in MMR vaccination clinics would be repeated next Saturday at all four hospital sites.

Just under 600 people had also received unscheduled MMR vaccine in the seven day period before the weekend, according to Public Health Wales.

Dr Marion Lyons, director of health protection for Public Health Wales, said: “We are really pleased to see that 586 people have proactively got the MMR vaccine over the past week, on top of those already scheduled to have it. 

“The alarming numbers of cases of measles and continuing spread of the disease in Wales illustrates how vital it is for parents to get their children vaccinated.”

As well as clinicians working in the drop-in clinics, she said colleagues in primary care were “doing a sterling job” to help cope with the increased demand for MMR.

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