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MMR jab still below required level

The numbers receiving the controversial MMR jab is lower than the 95%needed for immunity in the community, and far lower than a decade ago,NHS figures show.

Confidence in the mumps, measles and rubella vaccine fell afterresearch published in 1998 in The Lancet suggested a link with autism.

The latest data from the NHS information centre reveals uptake ratesremaining at 85% in 2007/08, the same as the previous year. In London,the figure is less than 80%.

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) issued a warning last year after thenumber of reported measles cases shot up over the summer.

Earlier this month, it published a report stating there were 1,794confirmed cases of measles reported in children eligible for MMRbetween 2002 and 2007. Many of these cases occurred last year.

In January to March 2008, uptake of the MMR vaccine in the UK reached84% for the first dose, but only 76% for the second. One dose providesover 95% protection against measles, and two doses provide almost 100%protection.

Latest figures show that just 24 out of 152 PCTs recorded uptake rates of over 90% while not one reached 95%.

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