National Health Service (NHS) figures show vaccination rates have fallen for all nine childhood injections in England. Coverage for all vaccines among under-fives fell between 2017-2018 and 2018-2019.
Drops for individual vaccines ranged from 0.2 to 1 one per cent.
The Health Secretary has declared he will consider taking action to “protect children”. Matt Hancock, who earlier this year suggested that unvaccinated children could be banned from school, described the NHS statistics as “unacceptable”.
Figures showed rates for the DTap-IPV-Hib, known as the six-in-one, dropped to 92.1 among one-year-olds – the lowest figure in at least 10 years.
Coverage of the “MMR jab”, known to protect against measles, mumps and rubella, fell to 86.4 per cent in 2018/19, according to the statistics.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said:
“Falling childhood vaccination rates are unacceptable. Everyone has a role to play in halting this decline.”
“The loss of our measles-free status is a stark reminder that devastating diseases can, and will, resurface.”
“We need to be bold and I will not rule out action so that every child is properly protected.”
Reasons for coverage falling may include people being anti-vaxxers – believing jabs are harmful or useless – or just not making the effort to get their child to the doctor.
Four countries lost WHO’s measles free status
The NHS figures comes as the UK was one of four countries to this year lose its ‘measles eliminated’ status from the World Health Organization.
This is awarded to countries which have managed to almost completely prevent the spread of the infection for three years.
As well as the UK, Greece, Albania and the Czech Republic also lost their elimination status as the countries battle against rising numbers of people catching the illness.
Source: Daily Mail