Clinicians in Dorset are urging parents to attend regular vaccination appointments with their children in order to protect their health and reduce the risk of outbreaks of serious diseases.

Essential, routine vaccinations like the MMR jab can save a child’s life and are available through family doctors. As long as those attending appointments, including parents of babies or children, do not have symptoms or are not self-isolating because someone in the household is displaying symptoms, all scheduled vaccinations should go ahead as normal.

Dr Sam Abdollahian is a GP in Dorset and a named GP for safeguarding with NHS Dorset CCG.

He said “We understand that people may have concerns about using local services during the COVID-19 pandemic, but we want to reassure parents in Dorset that GP surgeries are safe for you and your child.

“It’s really important that babies, children and pregnant women receive their routine immunisations where they can. They provide essential protection against potentially life-threatening diseases.

“Your GP is still here for you in Dorset, so if you’ve received your appointment letter, but you are anxious about coming in, please ring us and we can talk you through the measures we have put in place to keep you safe.”

The national immunisation programme is highly successful in reducing the number of serious and sometimes life-threatening diseases such as whooping cough, diphtheria and measles.

A full list of vaccinations and when they are available, for children and adults, is accessible through the NHS website: https://www.england.nhs.uk/2020/05/nhs-urges-public-to-get-essential-vaccines-despite-coronavirus-outbreak/