Health & NHS
First increase in MMR vaccine coverage for six years
The number of children aged 24 months receiving the first dose of the MMR vaccine has gone up for the first time in six years according to official figures.
NHS Digital reported this week that coverage increased from 90.3 per cent in 2018-19 to 90.6 per cent in 2019-20.
There was a rise in vaccine coverage in six of nine regions in England, with falling rates in the other three.
The highest rate was in the North East with 95.1 per cent, surpassing the World Health Organisation’s target of 95 per cent.
The lowest rate was in London which increased to 83.6 per cent from 83 per cent in 2018-19.
Across England, 94.5 per cent of five-year-olds received the first dose of the vaccine in 2019-20, equalling last year’s tally, with eight regions hitting the 95 per cent mark.
The number of children aged 12 months given the 5-in-1/6-in-1 vaccine that protects against diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio, disease caused by Haemophilus influenzae type b and hepatitis B, increased from 92.1 per cent in 2018-19 to 92.6 per cent in 2019-20, although it was below the 94.7 per cent achieved in 2012-13.
The number of children aged 24 months who received the vaccine dropped below the 95 per cent mark for the second year in a row, going from 94.2 per cent in 2018-19 to 93.8 per cent in 2019-20.
There was a rise in the number of five-year-olds being vaccinated, from 95 per cent in 2018-19 to 95.2 per cent the following year.
The number of children aged 24 months who received the MenB vaccine rose from 87.8 per cent in 2018-19 to 88.7 per cent a year later.