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The facts

Reduced uptake of vaccinations has recently led to an increase in diseases. In the first three months of 2013 there was an increase in the number of measles cases across England in the 10-14 year olds. This can be associated with the decline in the uptake of the MMR vaccine due to the headlines linking MMR and autism. This link has since been discredited.

The benefits of immunisation

Immunisation protects individuals and the community from vaccine preventable infectious diseases.

All medicines have side effects, but vaccines are among the safest. The benefits of vaccinations far outweigh the risk of side effects. Find out more about the benefits and risks of immunisation in the NHS choices website.

Routine immunisation programmes take place from when a baby is 8 weeks old and continue through the life course up to the age of 70 (older for the annual flu vaccine).

For more information about immunisation including a vaccination schedule visit the NHS Choices website.

The risks of infectious diseases during winter

Cold weather has a significant impact on people’s health. One of the best ways of keeping yourself well during winter is to stay warm. Visit the NHS Choices website for more information about common infectious diseases during the winter:

  • Colds and flu includes advice on how protect yourself from it, symptoms, what to do if you catch it and how to prevent it spreading
  • Norovirus includes information on the symptoms, what to do if you catch it and how to prevent it spreading
  • Cold sores includes information on how to prevent them and how to treat them

Would you like help?

Contact your doctor or practice nurse if you think you or people you look after need a vaccination or if you're not sure whether you have had all the routine vaccinations.

Visit the winter section of our website if you would like some advice on preparing for winter and keeping well during cold weather.