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Increase in MMR vaccination coverage in England

The percentage of the English child population immunised with vaccines for diseases including measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) is rising - but is still at a lower level than in other UK countries, an NHS Information Centre report shows today.

In 2009-10, 88.2% of children in England had received the MMR vaccine by their second birthday, compared to 84.9% in 2008-09, according to NHS Immunisation Statistics, England 2009-10.

The percentage continues to rise following a low of 79.9% in 2003-04. However the current figure is still lower than the World Health Organization (WHO) target of more than 95% and compares to 92.2% in Wales, 93.7% in Scotland and 92.2% in Northern Ireland.

Regionally in England, the highest percentage of children at two years vaccinated for MMR was in the South Central Strategic Health Authority (SHA) at 91.4%. The lowest percentage was in the London SHA at 81.9%.

The increase in vaccination coverage in 2009-10 may be due to a number of factors, including improvements in data quality and reporting, as well as efforts to increase vaccination coverage.

NHS Information Centre Chief Executive, Tim Straughan, said:  “Following the low in MMR vaccinations among children in England six years ago, the percentage of children now receiving this vaccine is continuing to climb, although it is still short of the World Health Organization's target of more than 95%.

“While the England figures are rising, a greater percentage of children in other UK countries are immunised against MMR and also for other diseases like meningitis C, polio, diphtheria and tetanus.”

NHS Information Centre