Rise in uptake of MMR jab stalls25th September 2008
New figures from the NHS Information Centre have suggested that the rise in the uptake of MMR vaccinations has stalled.
The data revealed that the triple jab had been given to 85% of children in England by the age of two in 2007/08, matching the previous year’s figures.
But experts are concerned that this level means there is still a risk of a measles epidemic with herd immunity requiring 95% of children to be inoculated.
The vaccination rate has been well below the level required following research published in The Lancet journal in 1998, wrongly linking the combined measles, mumps and rubella jab to autism. The study has since been discredited but public confidence in the triple vaccine has not yet fully returned.
However, the latest figures are the first signs of the rise stalling following a steady increase since 2003/04.
Professor David Salisbury, the government's director of immunisation, said: "MMR uptake is still not sufficient to remove the serious threat of measles outbreaks.
"Parents who have not had their children vaccinated with the MMR vaccine should do so now.
"The evidence on MMR is absolutely clear - there is no link between the vaccine and autism and delaying immunisation puts children at risk."
Only 24 primary care trusts out of 152 have MMR uptake rates of over 90% and none achieved 95%.
The Health Protection Agency has urged parents to get their children vaccinated because outbreaks of measles were still occurring with 1,000 cases reported in the UK in 2007.
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Title: Rise in uptake of MMR jab stalls
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 8495
Date Added: 25th Sep 2008