Figures reveal rise in baby vaccination rates for MMR across the East Riding

The proportion of babies vaccinated for measles, mumps and rubella has increased in the East Riding, rising above the level needed for herd immunity.

Saturday, 3rd October 2020, 5:15 pm
The East Riding had one of the highest vaccination rates in the country. Photo: PA Images

Despite an increase in MMR vaccination rates across England, the British Society for Immunology warned that the national level was still below target and could mean diseases such as measles spreading to vulnerable, unvaccinated people.

Figures from NHS Digital show 95.9% of babies in the East Riding received the first dose of the MMR vaccination by their second birthday in 2019-20 – one of the highest rates in the country.

This was an increase on the 94.1% of two-year-olds who were vaccinated the year before, but means 115 babies were not inoculated this year.

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

Dr Doug Brown, chief executive of the British Society for Immunology, welcomed the “small increase in uptake for most routine vaccinations” but said “none of them have reached the necessary uptake level of 95% at the correct timepoint”.

He added: “The slight rise in uptake of routine childhood vaccinations in England is a step in the right direction but we must still take urgent action to overcome the ongoing trend of missing the 95% target set out by the World Health Organisation.

“Low levels of vaccination coverage matter as it means diseases such as measles have the potential to spread within our communities, infecting unvaccinated people, including vulnerable individuals unable to have vaccinations such as young babies or people with cancer.”

In the East Riding, 93% of children had received both doses of the MMR vaccine before the age of five in 2019-20 – compared to 86.8% across England.

Separate national figures from Public Health England show the number of vaccinations for the first MMR vaccine dipped in the weeks after the coronavirus lockdown was introduced.