The MMR vaccination covers three diseases, namely Measles, Mumps and Rubella (also called German-Measles). If you live and/or work in London and you will be travelling to a country where there is a high risk of exposure to any of these diseases, and you’re not sure of your immunity status, you should get immunized before you travel to be on the safe side. The MMR vaccine is one of the travel vaccines that are available from the walk-in travel clinic service that Broadgate Clinic London Wall provides.

As the MMR vaccine is administered to protect against three diseases, let’s take a quick look at each disease in turn.

Measles and world travel

Measles is a highly contagious disease which is caused by a family of viruses called Paramyxoviruses. It is easily spread by coming into contact with or inhaling the respiratory secretions that infected people cough and sneeze into the atmosphere or onto surfaces.

Measles is still common in much of Africa, Asia, South America, and the Indian subcontinent. In recent years there have also been outbreaks in many developed countries, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United States, and several countries in Europe, including the UK. The risk will be greater if you will be living or working with local people, or attending large gatherings such as exhibitions and conferences.

Mumps and world travel

Mumps is another highly contagious disease, which is also caused by the same family of viruses as measles, namely the Paramyxoviruses. As with measles it is readily spread by coming into contact with or inhaling the respiratory secretions that infected people cough and sneeze into the atmosphere or onto surfaces.

The similarity to measles continues with many of the countries where the risk of exposure is high. The list of countries includes Africa, Asia, South America, the Indian subcontinent and several European countries, including Spain and the UK. Again paralleling Measles, the danger of exposure to Mumps is greater when working and/or living with local people, or when attending large gatherings.

Rubella and world travel

Rubella is caused by the Toga virus. It is spread in exactly the same way as the other two diseases described above. It is female travellers who are much more at serious risk from this disease because of the effects it can have on unborn children, particularly if the mother is exposed to the disease during the first two to three months of her pregnancy. It can cause serious birth defects.

Countries where the risk of encountering Rubella is high include: Africa, Asia, South America and the Indian subcontinent. There have also been recent outbreaks in both Poland and Japan.

When to have the MMR vaccination and how long protection lasts

Immunity to Measles, Mumps and Rubella, starts to build within 2 weeks of receiving the vaccination, so having it a minimum of two weeks before you travel should be sufficient. In terms of its potency, if you have had two doses of the MMR vaccine (this is what most children have here in the UK), it will be effective for up to 20 years. Individuals born before 1980, or between 1980 and 1990, may not have been given the recommended two doses. If you require the two doses as an adult, they can both be administered within 1 month.

London’s busy workers use the walk-in travel clinic service that Broadgate Clinic London Wall provides  

If you are in any doubt about the necessity to have the MMR vaccination chat to your GP, or if you work in London, and you need to try and find this out in amongst your busy working schedule, you can pop in without an appointment to the travel clinic here at Broadgate Clinic London Wall.