Public Health Scotland is aware of five cases of laboratory confirmed measles in Scotland since October 2023, all of which have been linked to travel. The latest two cases were confirmed today, 16 February 2024.

PHS is encouraging the public to take up the offer of the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine. Having two doses of the MMR vaccine is the best way to be fully protected against measles.

Anyone who hasn’t had two doses of the free MMR vaccine is encouraged to visit the NHS Inform website to find out how to arrange an appointment in their local health board area.   

Uptake of MMR has declined across all UK nations in recent years and there remains a risk of infection in those who are not vaccinated or not fully vaccinated for their age. 

Measles can be a very serious condition, causing pneumonia and encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) and can affect people of any age if they have not been vaccinated. 

The MMR vaccine protects against measles with the first dose offered to children between 12-13 months, and the second dose offered at 3 years 4 months. If it’s missed at these times, it can be given at any age.  

Health care workers should also have two doses of MMR and are advised to speak to with their employer or occupational health department if they haven't been fully vaccinated.  

Further information on measles and the MMR vaccine can be found on at:

Dr Nick Phin, Director of Public Health Science, PHS said:

“The appropriate health protection measures are being taken across health boards to ensure close contacts of confirmed measles cases are informed and advised on what to do if symptoms develop.  They could be offered the MMR vaccine if not fully vaccinated or post exposure protection if considered appropriate.

“As measles cases continue to increase across other parts of the UK and Europe, we’re working with health boards to ensure that as many people as possible are fully vaccinated with the MMR vaccine. Some health boards are working to identify those who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated (have only received one dose of the MMR vaccine) and running vaccination clinics to offer second doses, or full courses as needed. Two doses are needed to give full protection.

“Given the current links to travel, we would also encourage those who are planning to travel anytime soon to ensure you and your children are up to date with all your vaccinations before leaving the country.”

Further information on measles and how to check you / your child is fully protected can be found on MMR against measles | NHS inform.

Health Protection Teams and other health professionals can find the latest measles public health guidance here: Guidance for professionals - Measles

Last updated: 15 March 2024