Measles jab uptake in Rotherham 'above regional and national average'

A nurse handles a syringe at a medical centre (photo = PA)A nurse handles a syringe at a medical centre (photo = PA)
A nurse handles a syringe at a medical centre (photo = PA)
ROTHERHAM is a “much better place” than many parts of England currently affected by the measles outbreak due to above national average uptake of the Measles, Mumps, Rubella jab in children.

Earlier this week the UK Health Security Agency declared the outbreak a national incident, with NHS figures revealing uptake of both MMR doses by the age of five was considered “very low” in areas including London (74 per cent) and the West Midlands (83.7 per cent).

The World Health Organization recommends two-dose vaccination coverage of 95 per cent.

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NHS South Yorkshire figures show Rotherham has higher than average uptake both regionally and nationally, with nearly 92 per cent (91.8) compared with 87.1 per cent in Yorkshire and Humber and 84.5 per cent nationally.

Dr David Crichton, medical director at NHS South Yorkshire said: “Vaccination is the most important thing we can do to protect our children and vulnerable people.

“As measles is highly contagious, even a small decline in MMR vaccine levels can lead to a rise in cases which can lead to complications.

“This may make you feel unwell, require a stay in hospital and, on rare occasions, can cause lifelong disability or death.”

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The NHS is sending out reminders to parents and guardians with children aged one to five due or missing a first or second jab.

This will be expanded in the next few weeks with those aged six to 11 missing two doses recorded.

Dr Crichton added: “I would encourage parents and guardians to check their child’s red book/vaccination record to see if they are up to date with their MMR vaccinations and to book an appointment as soon as possible if they are invited, to ensure their child is protected.”

Speaking at Rotherham Council's health and wellbeing board meeting yesterday (Wednesday, January 24), Chris Edwards, executive place director at South Yorkshire Integrated Care Board, said Rotherham was “in a much better place than London and Birmingham but still below the WHO's 95 per cent.”

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He encouraged parents and guardians who “may have missed opportunities to get their children vaccinated or haven't perhaps prioritised it” to contact their GP surgery or local schools-based programme.