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Rates of vaccination decline in England, study shows

Published on 18/09/18 at 11:22am

The number of people who are receiving the 12 routine childhood vaccinations has declined in proportion to the eligible population according to figures published by NHS digital.

Since 2016-17, coverage has declined in nine of the 12 routine childhood vaccines in England. However, while rates of vaccinations declined for the majority of routine childhood vaccinations, coverage increased for the rotavirus vaccine with 90.1% of eligible people receiving the vaccine in 2017-18 in comparison with 89.6% in 2016-17. Meanwhile coverage remained the same for two of the vaccines available.

Significantly, fewer children were receiving the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine, for the fourth year in a row, with 91.6% of people receiving the vaccine in 2016-17 in comparison with 91.2 in 2017-18. For reference, the World Health Organisation (WHO) set a target of 95% coverage.

The data also revealed that the North East had the highest coverage at 94.5% in comparison with London which had the lowest coverage across all regions. However while coverage in London had remained unchanged, coverage in the North East had fallen from 94.9%.

Overall eight of the nine regions examined achieved coverage of more than 90% while only the North East and the South West reached the 95% coverage target for the five-in-one vaccine in the past 12 months.  

Louis Goss

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