Measles Outbreak FAQs

How serious is measles?

Most children are not seriously ill with measles but complications, occasionally serious, can occur. Please visit our measles page for more details on the disease.

My child has had one single measles or MMR vaccine. Dose my child need a booster?

Your child only needs a booster if the first dose did not work. The first dose of either the single measles or MMR vaccine works in nine out of ten children. If it works the protection is long-lasting.

How can I tell if the first vaccine worked?

The best way to check for immunity is with a blood test which measures your child's antibodies to measles.

Is the single vaccine as effective as the MMR?

Yes, the single vaccine is equally effective. It was used in the UK form 1968 until 1988.

At what age should I give my child a booster?

Because the 'booster' dose is not really a booster but a second chance to be protected it can be given any time after the first dose. I would personally recommend leaving six months before revaccinating. There is no reason to wait until three or four years of age when the second MMR is usually given which is only for administrative convenience to coincide with the preschool booster.

When can I get a blood test done?

This can be done from six weeks after receiving with the single measles or MMR vaccine.

Can I get the blood test done through my NHS GP?

Probably not. However there is no harm in asking. Otherwise we can offer the blood test through our central London clinic.

Can we give the single measles vaccine before the 15 months that you recommend?

Yes. The singe measles vaccine can be given any time from 12 months. Children under 12 months of age can be given the measles vaccine but it is less effective at this age and revaccination after 12 months is necessary. Importantly revaccinating these early vaccinated children is less likely to be effective than in those who receive their first vaccine after 12 months.

Is the child contagious after receiving the vaccine?

No, a vaccinated child is not infectious after vaccination.

For more information or to make an appointment telephone +44(0)20 7631 0090 or email us at