MMR vaccinations available at Greater Manchester pharmacies

9 April 2024

From Monday 8 April, 15 pharmacies across Greater Manchester will be taking part in a North West pilot offering the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine to support a national call and recall of under-vaccinated children and to help increase MMR vaccines.

The 15 pharmacies involved from NHS Greater Manchester are joining 28 other pharmacies in the North West (13 in Lancashire and South Cumbria, and 15 in Cheshire and Merseyside) to be the first in the country to take part in the trial. Making it possible for anyone aged five or over who has missed their MMR vaccine, to walk into those taking part to get their vaccination from one of the highly trained pharmacists – no appointment is needed, but there may be a wait for the pharmacist to become available and if the pharmacist is booked up, they may be invited to return at a planned appointment.

Aneet Kapoor, chair of the pharmacy local professional network and a pharmacist at KPS Pharmacy in Chorlton said: “Our pharmacists are highly skilled in administering vaccinations, providing healthcare advice and reassuring patients – helping to answer any questions they may have about the MMR vaccine, and ensuring individuals make informed decisions about their health.

“The changes in healthcare delivery, technology and patient needs, means that the role of community pharmacists is evolving. We are increasingly becoming even more integral to the health of our communities – expanding what clinical services we offer and providing a greater focus on patient-centred care and public health initiatives aimed at promoting health and preventing disease. All with the aim of making it easier for people to stay healthy for longer.”

The pharmacy scheme follows on from phases one and two of the NHS MMR vaccine catch-up campaign targeting Greater Manchester, West Midlands and London – with these areas more at risk due to the number of people who are not up to date with their MMR vaccinations.

Phase one saw over a million parents and carers of six to 11 years-olds in England, including Greater Manchester, that were not up to date with their MMR vaccinations sent emails, letters and texts inviting them to book a vaccine appointment for their children. While phase two, involved more than 900,000 adults aged 19 to 25 and 200,000 16-19 year-olds invited to book an appointment for their missed MMR vaccine.

Measles is one of the world’s most infectious diseases with estimates showing that one infected adult or child can pass the disease onto around 15 other unvaccinated people. It spreads very easily among those who are unvaccinated, especially in nurseries, schools and universities.

Catching measles can lead to life changing issues for adults and children, such as blindness, deafness and swelling of the brain (encephalitis) – and those in certain groups, including babies, pregnant women, and people with weakened immunity, are at increased risk of these complications. 

There is currently no medical treatment for measles, however, two doses of the MMR vaccine can give someone effective lifelong protection against becoming seriously unwell with the disease.

Dr Helen Wall, Clinical Director for Population Health at NHS Greater Manchester, said: “Measles is one of the most infectious diseases in the world and can cause serious harm to adults and children of all ages.

“Just two doses of the MMR vaccine can give life-long protection against becoming seriously unwell, so with cases of measles on the rise, it’s not worth the risk of going without this vital protection.

Two doses of the MMR vaccine are needed for maximum life-long protection, with the first dose given around a person’s first birthday, and the second dose given at around three years and four months. However, anyone can catch up at any age on any missed doses and it’s never too late to protect yourself.

“It is especially important for those who are planning a pregnancy or who are postnatal to make sure they are fully vaccinated. As it is a live vaccine, MMR cannot be given during pregnancy and people should avoid getting pregnant for one month after having it, however following delivery the vaccine can be given at any time.

“We hope that people will make full use of this MMR vaccine pharmacy offer, as the aim is to make it easier than ever for anyone who may have missed receiving it to make sure they get it. For those aged five or over, there is no need to wait for a GP appointment, they can just walk into the nearest participating local pharmacy – but we do ask for people to be patient if there is a wait due to the pharmacist treating other patients.

In the United Kingdom, over 20 million cases of measles have been prevented since vaccination against the disease began during the 1980s, according to data from UKHSA. Data also shows that over 4,500 lives- 81 lives per year-across the United Kingdom have been saved as a result.

Symptoms of measles appear seven-10 days after contact with the virus and include: 

  • cold-like symptoms such as runny or blocked nose, sneezing and cough 
  • red, sore, watery eyes 
  • high temperature (fever), which may reach around 40OC / 104O
  • a non-itchy, red-brown rash usually appears three to five days later (sometimes starts around the ears before spreading to rest of the body), spots may be raised and join to form blotchy patches – which may be harder to see on darker skin tones 
  • small white spots may appear inside cheeks and the back of lips (for a few days) 

More information about the symptoms can be found here: Measles - NHS ( 

If you or a family member develops any symptoms of measles contact your GP by phone. Please do not go to your GP, walk-in centre or any other healthcare setting without calling ahead, as measles is very infectious. 

The full list of participating NHS Greater Manchester pharmacies can be found here: MMR available in pharmacies | Greater Manchester Integrated Care Partnership (

Accessibility tools

Return to header