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MMR vaccine at highest level in 14 years

28th November 2012

The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) has confirmed  uptake of the MMR vaccine is at its highest level for 14 years.

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Tim Straughan, chief executive from HSCIC, said: "Today's report marks a significant point in the continued rise of MMR coverage since it hit a low in 2003/04 - as for the first time in 14 years, nine out of 10 children in England have had the MMR vaccine before they turn two."

He added: "However although MMR coverage at two years has risen in all regions of England, and overall the country's coverage has increased in recent years, the national figure remains below the World Health Organisation (WHO) target of at least 95%."

The data released by the HSCIC showed 91% of children under the age of two were given the first part of the vaccine between 2011/12, an increase of 2.1% from 2010.

The figures revealed that uptake in England has passed the 90% mark for the first time since 1997/98, when the numbers of children who were vaccinated decreased after claims about the jab were widely reported in the press.

The HSCIC's report, NHS Immunisation Statistics England 2011/12, showed  uptake of the MMR jab in England was still lower than other areas of the UK.

Scotland showed the highest amount of vaccinated children at 94.3%, compared to the overall average for England of 91.6%. 

Dr Helen Bedford, from UCL Institute of Child Health, said: "It is good news that parents have regained their confidence in this highly effective vaccine.

"However, some teenagers and children have never caught up with missed vaccines and remain at risk of these potentially harmful infections."

"It is never too late to have the two doses of MMR vaccine needed to protect against measles, mumps and rubella which can be more severe in adulthood." 

 

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