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Measles Immunisation During COVID-19 Pandemic

16 Nov 2020

 The World Health Organization (WHO) have reported a wordwide surge in measles cases.

Measles outbreaks occur when people who are not protected from the virus are infected and spread the disease to unvaccinated or under-vaccinated populations.

In 2019, measles reached the highest number of reported cases in 23 years with increases in all regions of the world.

Efforts to control the COVID-19 pandemic has severely disrupted vaccination campaigns and efforts to prevent and minimise measles outbreaks. As of November 2020, more than 94 million people were at risk of missing vaccines due to paused measles campaigns in 26 countries. 

Advice for travellers:

Measles is a highly infectious disease spread through sneezing, coughing or direct contact with respiratory secretions. It causes a rash, fever and muscle aches and can have serious complications, including death.

MMR vaccine is usually given to children as part of the national childhood schedule, in infancy and prior to starting school. 

  • Two doses of MMR vaccine give long-lasting protection against all three diseases. 

You should check with your General Practice to ensure that you have received two doses of MMR vaccination prior to travel, particularly if you are travelling to areas where the risk of measles is high.

  • Previous infection with measles, mumps or rubella provides lifelong immunity against that particular disease.

For further information, see the fitfortravel Measles page.