Wednesday, 30 September 2020 04:01

Rise in baby vaccination rates for MMR in Wiltshire Featured

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The number of babies vaccinated for measles, mumps and rubella has increased in Wiltshire.

Figures from NHS Digital show 95.4 per cent of babies in Wiltshire received the first dose of the MMR vaccination by their second birthday in 2019/20 – one of the highest rates in England.

This was an increase on the 95.1 per cent of two-year-olds who were vaccinated the year before, but means 233 babies were not inoculated this year.

Across England, the proportion of children having their first dose of the jab increased from 90.3 per cent in 2018/19 to 90.6 per cent in 2019/20 – though it is still well below the 95 per cent needed for herd immunity.

This is the first time in six years that MMR coverage nationwide has increased, following a peak of 92.7 per cent in 2013/14.

Vaccination rates fell and measles rates began to rise following a study in 1998 by Dr Andrew Wakefield claiming the jabs were unsafe.

The findings were later discredited and the General Medical Council (GMC) struck him off, ruling he had been 'dishonest, irresponsible and showed callous disregard for the distress and pain' of children.

The NHS figures show an increase in coverage in six of the nine English regions in 2019/20, with the South West having the second highest level of coverage, at 93.3 per cent.

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