MMR vaccine: areas of England with lowest take-up of measles, mumps and rubella jab as NHS writes to parents
Around 740,000 children aged between one and six in England have not had one or both doses of the MMR vaccine. These councils have the greatest proportion of children not fully protected.
In some local authority areas, the number of five-year-olds who have not had the required two doses of the MMR (Measles, Mumps and rubella) jab is as high as one-third.
Now, in a major drive to boost uptake, the NHS is contacting the parents and carers of 740,000 children aged between one and six who have not had one or both doses, saying one in ten were not up to date with their vaccinations. Children need two doses of vaccine for protection. The first dose given around the child’s first birthday, and the second dose given at around three years and four months old.
The most recent available data from NHS Digital for the 2020/21 period shows wide geographical differences in vaccination rates across the country. London had the greatest proportion of children under five unvaccinated against MMR with almost a quarter (24.9%) unvaccinated, followed by the West Midlands with 14.4% unvaccinated and the North West with 12.6% unvaccinated.
Steve Russell, NHS director of vaccinations and screening, urged parents to have their child vaccinated and reiterated the safety of the vaccine. He said: “The MMR vaccine is one of the most studied vaccines in the world, with millions of doses given every year – it is safe for your child, and will protect them, their friends and the wider community from these unpleasant but preventable diseases. If your child hasn’t been vaccinated yet, or is not up to date with their vaccinations, please contact your GP to book an appointment.”
Here we reveal which councils in England have the greatest proportion of children not fully vaccinated against MMR by their fifth birthday.