Notts behind target for MMR jabs, NHS figures reveal

More than nine in 10 Nottinghamshire children are vaccinated against measles, mumps and rubella by the age of five – but the area is still behind target, figures show.

Saturday, 16th October 2021, 8:43 am

Nearly 1,000 youngsters in the area were not fully vaccinated against the trio of potentially life-threatening diseases by their fifth birthday last year, according to the latest childhood vaccination statistics.

The MMR jab protects against measles, mumps and rubella, highly infectious conditions which can have life-changing consequences.

For a child to be fully protected, they should receive two vaccinations, the first at the age of one and the second when they are three.

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The MMR jab protects against measles, mumps and rubella, highly infectious conditions which can have life-changing consequences.

But NHS Digital figures show only 90 per cent of Nottinghamshire children were fully vaccinated by their fifth birthday in 2020-21 – below the 95 per cent target set by the World Health Organization.

It meant 908 children had not received both doses of the MMR jab by the age of five.

Measles, mumps and rubella can easily spread between unvaccinated people and can lead to serious problems including meningitis, hearing loss and problems during pregnancy.

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Dr Vanessa Saliba, from the UK Health Security Agency, said anyone without two doses of the vaccination remained at risk.

She said coverage had fallen nationally due to the coronavirus pandemic, increasing the risk of a resurgence of the diseases.

Dr Saliba said: “It’s essential parents take up the offer of MMR for their children.

“If your child has missed one or both of their MMR vaccinations, contact your GP surgery to arrange an appointment as soon as possible – it is never too late to catch up.”

Last year, 93 per cent of infants in Nottinghamshire had their first jab before the age of two, suggesting about 571 babies did not receive the routine immunisation.

Across England, 90 per cent of two-year-olds and 94 per cent of five-year-olds had received the initial vaccine in 2020-21, meaning both proportions were slightly down from the year before.

About 87 per cent of five-year-olds had received both jabs by their fifth birthday.

An NHS spokeswoman urged parents to check their child's medical records and ensure immunisations were up to date.

She said: “It’s vital parents ensure their children are fully protected with this jab – which can ultimately save a child’s life.”

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