MMR vaccine coverage ‘highest in 14 years’
Parents’ confidence in the combined vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella – the MMR jab – appears to have returned, suggest latest figures that show nine in 10 children in England were immunised last year.
This is the highest recorded level of coverage since an unfounded scare about the vaccine’s safety in the late 90s. Despite this research being discredited, It led to a decrease in confidence in the vaccine among parents.
The latest figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre show 91.2 per cent of children under the age of two had received their first dose of the MMR vaccine in 2011-12 − a rise from 89.1 per cent in the previous year.
This is the first time coverage has passed 90 per cent since 1997-98.
The highest uptake was in the south of England, while the lowest was in the country’s capital, London.
Despite the improvement, the national figure still remains below the target 95 per cent coverage or more that the World Health Organization says is needed to break the cycle of people passing on these viral infections to others.
Experts advise parents to make sure that their child is immunised against these highly infectious diseases that can cause severe illness and permanent disabilities.
Visit the rest of the Pregnancy and Caring for your Children Centre for more information on child health and read our lifestyle article ‘What’s that spot?’ to find out about conditions associated with spots such as measles and mumps.
Source © Trio Media 2012
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