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October 2018

Latest figures show drop in uptake of all but one childhood immunisations

Latest figures on immunisation uptake show coverage declined for nine of the 12 routine childhood vaccinations at age 12 months, 24 months or five years in 2017-18 in England compared to the previous year. It increased in one vaccine and remained at the same level in two.

Coverage for MMR vaccine for children reaching their second birthday fell to 91.2% in England in 2017-18 compared to 91.6% 2016-17, according to the NHS Digital report, Childhood Vaccination Coverage Statistics.

For all 13 routine vaccinations for which this report provides figures, the North East had the highest coverage and London had the lowest.

This is the fourth consecutive year that MMR coverage has decreased. The World Health Organization (WHO) target is 95% per cent. Coverage for this vaccine fell in six of the nine English regions.

England-wide MMR coverage for children reaching their fifth birthday fell from 95.0% in 2016-17 to 94.9% in 2017-18.

The report shows coverage for the 5-in-1 vaccine (diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio and Hib) at 12 months has fallen from 94.7% in 2012-13 to 93.1% in 2017-18. It is the fifth successive year coverage for the vaccine for disease has fallen in children aged 12 months.

Of the nine English regions, only the North East (95.5 per cent) and the South West (95 per cent) reached the target of 95% for the 5-in-1 vaccine at 12 months.

The rotavirus vaccine was the only one that had an increase in coverage, from 89.6% in 2016-17 to 90.1% in 2017-18.

This year’s report is the first where figures for the meningitis B vaccine (Meningococcal group B, referred to as the MenB vaccine) are included as a national statistic, having been published as experimental statistics in last year’s report. These figures show that national coverage for this vaccine was 92.5%. Eight out of nine regions achieved coverage above 90%.