Image of child facing camera and text: Is your child protected? It's not too late

The NHS wants to keep children safe and protected from serious illness.

This is why the NHS in London is encouraging all parents of children aged 1 to 11 who are not yet up-to-date with their routine vaccinations for polio, measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) to come forward. From May 2023, you will be contacted by a health care professional and invited for a convenient appointment to catchup on your child’s vaccinations. This could be at a school, community clinic or your GP surgery.

Why are we doing this?

Measles cases are rising in London, with 85 confirmed cases between 1 January and 30 June 2023. UKHSA modelling suggests that, unless MMR vaccination rates improve, London could see a measles outbreak with tens of thousands of cases.

Measles can make children seriously unwell with one in five needing a hospital visit. One in 15 children develop serious complications from a measles infection, which can include meningitis and blindness.

There is no medical treatment for measles; vaccination is the best protection against becoming seriously unwell. The MMR vaccine protects against measlesmumps and rubella (German measles).

Polio can lead to paralysis and in some cases, even death. There is no cure for polio, vaccination is the only protection.

London has lower rates of childhood vaccination than other regions in England and this was made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic, when many children missed their vaccinations.

The best way to protect your child is to make sure they are fully up to date with their vaccinations. These vaccines will increase your child’s protection and have been safely given to millions of children.

Which polio and MMR vaccines does my child need?

The vaccine you are offered will be the right one for the age of your child. See below for details of the vaccinations your child should have already had.

Age groupPolio or MMR vaccinations your child needs
0-1 yearMMR (1st dose)
3 doses of 6-in-1 vaccine (containing polio vaccine)
At 3 years 4 months4-in-1 pre-school booster (4th dose of polio vaccine)
MMR (2nd dose)

View the full childhood vaccination schedule

How to get a polio or MMR vaccination for your child

Children aged 1 year to 4 years old:

Contact your local GP to book an appointment for your child to have their vaccination. If you’re not registered with a GP, you can register online.

Children aged 4 years to 11 years old:

If your child has missed a vaccine, they may be offered a catch-up dose through their primary school or a community venue in 2023, including during school holidays.

The NHS will contact you to give you further detail of your local offer, answer any questions and arrange an appointment. You’ll then be sent a consent form to sign. Please note that your child will not be vaccinated without your consent.

If you believe your child is missing a vaccination, you can also contact your local School Aged Immunisation Service (SAIS) provider or a local GP to book an appointment.