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Regional variation in child immunisation uptake

The North East of England has the highest levels of immunisation for most routine childhood vaccinations, with the lowest levels found in London, according to NHS Immunisation Statistics.

The 2013-14 report, published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), shows the proportion of eligible children having received the first dose of the Measles Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine by their second birthday was highest in the North East, at 95.5%.

The lowest level regionally was in London at 87.5%. In just over a third of local authorities (51 out of 149), MMR coverage figures for children at two years of age met the World Health Organization (WHO) target of at least 95% coverage.

Kingsley Manning, Chair of the HSCIC, said: “Healthcare professionals should take note of the statistics in this report and make use of them as part of their planning, to encourage parents to immunise their children.”

The England average was below the WHO target at 92.7% - an increase of 0.4 percentage points from 2012-13 (92.3%).

A rise in MMR coverage at a national level has been reported for the sixth consecutive year and coverage for children at two years of age is at its highest level since the vaccine was first introduced in 1988.

Meanwhile, figures for children receiving the 'five in one' (DTaP/IPV/Hib) vaccine by their first birthday show that coverage levels for over 60% (91 out of 149) of local authorities met the WHO target of at least 95 per cent coverage. The England average for the vaccine was below the WHO target, at 94.3% - a decrease of 0.4 percentage points from 2012-13 (94.7%).

Vaccination coverage in England was below that of other UK countries for all routine childhood vaccines measured at one, two and five years.

Regionally, coverage in England was highest in the North East for all routine childhood vaccines measured at one, two and five years with the exception of the 'five in one' (DTaP/IPV/Hib) as measured at one year, which was highest in the East Midlands.

Regionally, coverage in England was lowest in London for all routine childhood vaccines measured at one, two and five years.