Fears measles, polio and other ‘diseases of the past’ could return as child vaccination rates for all 14 vaccines drop – DECADE low with MMR job uptake, ‘extremely worrying’ NHS The figures show.
- Vaccination rates among children have fallen across the board in England.
- In some parts of England, less than 70% of under-5s are vaccinated against serious diseases.
- Health chiefs said it could lead to an increase in illnesses that are largely confined to history.
Vaccination rates among children have fallen across the board, official figures revealed today.
By March 2022, fewer than seven in 10 under-5s in some parts of England had been vaccinated against serious diseases, such as diphtheria, tetanus and polio.
The number of 14 routine vaccines offered to young people, such as measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), fell by 1.3% compared to the previous year.
Health chiefs warned that even this modest reduction could lead to an increase in diseases largely confined to history – such as measles and polio – and trigger potentially deadly outbreaks.
95 percent of under-fives do not have a job – a key target set by the World Health Organization to curb the epidemic.
Officials said the ‘extremely alarming’ statistics were likely affected by the Covid pandemic.
He urged parents to check their children’s jobs up-to-date and book them ‘as soon as possible’ if they want to give them ‘maximum protection from dreaded diseases’.
By March 2022, 84% of under-fives in England were protected against serious diseases such as measles, mumps and rubella.
How did rates for 13 vaccinations change last year?
Vaccines (depending on age)
DTaP/IPV/Hib (1 year)
DTaP/IPV/Hib (2 years)
DTaP/IPV/Hib (5 years)
PCV (1 year)
Rotavirus (1 year)
Main B (1 year)
Hib/MenC (2 years)
Hib/MenC (5 years)
MMR (2 years)
MMR (5 years)
PCV (2 years)
Main B (2 years)
DTaP/IPV promotion (5 years)
MMR dose 2 (5 years)
2020-21 (% coverage)
2021-22 (% Coverage)
Source: NHS Digital
NHS Digital data, which shows vaccination rates up to March 2022, revealed that only 89.2 per cent of children had received the MMR vaccine by the age of two – down from 90.2 per cent a year earlier.
Across regions, MMR uptake was highest in the North East (94.5 per cent) and lowest in London (79.9 per cent).
But the disparity was even greater among local authorities. In South Tyneside, 97.7 per cent of two-year-olds were given a job, while in Hackney, east London, the rate was a third lower (65.4 per cent).
Just 16 of the 149 local authorities reached the WHO target of 95 per cent, while 61 logged below 90 per cent – including all parts of London.
Vaccine uptake has been falling for years and health chiefs blame the pandemic for some of the drop-off seen in the past 12 months.
The UK Health Security Agency called for rates to be restored to WHO-recommended levels ‘as soon as possible’.
Although rates are low, there is a high risk that ‘preventable serious and sometimes fatal diseases such as measles and polio’ will spread.
NHS figures also show that between one in six and one in five vaccinations among children aged one, two and five years old has fallen.
These vaccines protect against diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio and diseases caused by Haemophilus influenzae type B and hepatitis B.
Nationally, the rate of one in six jobs among one-year-olds fell to 91.8 percent from 92 last year.
The Northeast was the only region to exceed the WHO’s 95 percent target. All regions except London, where uptake was only 86.5%, reached the 90% mark.
Among two-year-olds, uptake of one in six vaccines fell from 93.8 to 93 percent in the past year.
And only 94.4 percent of five-year-olds had one of the five vaccines, down from 95.2 percent a year earlier.
Dr Vanessa Saliba, a consultant epidemiologist at UKHSA, said: ‘Measles is highly contagious and can be dangerous, and it is extremely worrying that we are seeing MMR vaccine uptake levels in young children falling.
‘It is also very important that children are vaccinated against polio to avoid the risk of paralysis.
‘I would urge parents to check that all children are up to date with their vaccinations, and if not, book them in as soon as possible to ensure they are protected as much as possible against dreaded diseases. Is.
‘Childhood vaccines also increase the level of immunity in the population, which helps prevent outbreaks, so by getting all the vaccinations for our children, we are doing our part to keep these diseases in the past. .’
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