Students are urging to receive vaccinations after measles outbreaks Society

New university students are encouraged to ensure that they have been vaccinated against measles after outbreaks of the highly contagious disease.

Public Health England said that students should check that they are up-to-date with the MenACWY vaccine – which protects against meningitis – and that mumps, measles and rubella prick before the start of the term. The number of European cases of measles has reached a peak of eight years.

Some students starting this year at the university may have missed the MMR vaccine as children, with a record of only 80% in 2003, PHE said.

Dr. Mary Ramsay, the head of immunization at PHE, said that colleges and universities can be "hotspots" for the spread of measles and meningococcus.

"First-year students in particular run an increased risk of meningococcal infection if they are not vaccinated, which makes sense when they spend a lot of time with new people in confined environments such as university halls," she said.

"We therefore encourage students to inform their GP if they are aware of their MMR and MenACWY vaccinations before the deadline begins – it is never too late to protect themselves and their friends from these highly contagious and serious diseases . "

More than 41,000 cases of measles and 37 deaths were recorded throughout Europe in the first half of this year, according to the World Health Organization.

England also experienced an outbreak of measles, with 828 cases confirmed in the laboratory between January 1 and August 13, according to PHE.

The MMR vaccine is available to anyone who has not received two doses as a child.

The MenACWY jab, introduced in 2015, protects against four meningococcal strains that cause meningitis and blood poisoning.

It is routinely offered to people in the years nine and ten at school, but anyone who has missed it can be vaccinated free of charge until their 25th birthday.

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