The current UK childhood routine immunisation schedule timetables the two doses of MMR for between 12 and 13 months of age and at three years four to five months of age. The schedule recommended by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) incorporates the minimum intervals between subsequent doses of the same vaccine. This schedule is designed to provide optimal protection against measles and other diseases.

Families should be informed that a single dose of measles-containing vaccine is at least 95% effective in preventing clinical measles: Green Book of Immunisation - Chapter 21 Measles

Due to the raised profile of measles, parents may ask if their child’s MMR dose can be brought forward or given early. However, national guidance has not changed for immunisations. The routine immunisation schedule should be followed unless this is the situation and there is a clear reason for vaccinating outside of the schedule.

London has the lowest MMR coverage in England and the highest numbers of unvaccinated children. Whilst vaccinating some individuals earlier within the childhood immunisation schedule may be clinically indicated, the overall public health mandate and strategic priority remains to boost vaccination coverage and reach unvaccinated children. This will provide the greatest protection against outbreaks and resurgence of measles.

The NHS also provide additional resources including Q&A on the vaccination schedule

Published: Jan 29, 2024