Number of babies having MMR jab hits new high

Uptake of the vaccination in England is at 14-year peak

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The number of babies in England having the MMR vaccine is at a 14 year high, according to a new report.

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The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) has released data showing that 91% of children under the age of two in England received the jab between 2011 and 2012.

This marks a 2.1% increase on the previous year and is a significant turning point in the fight against measles.

The increase has brought the vaccination’s coverage over the 90% mark for the first time since the 1997 health scare that lead to a dramatic decline in immunisation.

At the time, contentious claims that the vaccination could be linked to autism and bowel disorders made  many parents reluctant for their child have the jab.

Although these claims were later rejected by the Department of Health and the vaccine was given the all clear,  some still felt wary and rates fell as a result.

Of the latest news, a HSCIC spokesperson has said, “Today’s report marks a significant point in the continued rise of MMR coverage since it hit a low in 2003-04”

Despite the increase England remains behind the rest of the country in terms of uptake with Scotland at 94.3%, Northern Ireland at 93.3% and Wales at 92.7%.

The UK as a whole averages 91.6% uptake, short of the 95% uptake health experts claim is required to prevent the spread of measles.

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