Vaccine rates for ALL 14 childhood jabs has fallen in the last year

Fears measles, polio and other ‘diseases of the past’ could return as child vaccination rates drop for ALL 14 inoculations – with MMR jab uptake at a DECADE low, ‘extremely worrying’ NHS statistics reveal

  • Vaccination rates among children have fallen across the board in England
  • Fewer than 70% under-5s in parts of England inoculated against serious illnesses
  • Health chiefs said it could lead to a surge in diseases largely confined to history

Vaccination rates among children have fallen across the board, official data revealed today.

Fewer than seven in 10 under-5s in parts of England were inoculated against serious illnesses, such as diphtheria, tetanus and polio by March 2022.

Uptake fell by up to 1.3 per cent compared to last year across the 14 routine vaccines offered to youngsters, such as measles, mumps and rubella (MMR).

Health chiefs warned that even this small decline could lead to a surge in diseases largely confined to history — such as measles and polio — and trigger potentially deadly outbreaks. 

None of the jabs were taken by 95 per cent of under-fives — a key target set by the World Health Organization to stop outbreaks. 

Officials said the ‘extremely worrying’ figures were likely impacted by the Covid pandemic.

They urged parents to check their children’s jabs re up to date and book them in ‘as soon as possible’ if they are not to give them ‘maximum protection against what can be terrible diseases’.

As few as 84 per cent of under-fives in England were protected against serious illnesses, such as measles, mumps and rubella by March 2022

 Vaccine (by age)

DTaP/IPV/Hib (1 year)

DTaP/IPV/Hib (2 years)

DTaP/IPV/Hib (5 years)

PCV (1 year)

Rotavirus (1 year)

MenB (1 year)

Hib/MenC (2 years)

Hib/MenC (5 years)

MMR (2 years)

MMR (5 years)

PCV (2 years)

MenB (2 years) 

DTaP/IPV boost (5 years)

MMR dose 2 (5 years)   

 2020-21 (% coverage)















2021-22 (% coverage)















Source: NHS Digital

The NHS Digital data, which shows vaccination rates up to March 2022, revealers that just 89.2 per cent of children had received the MMR vaccine by the age of two — down from 90.2 per cent one year earlier.

Among regions, MMR uptake was highest in the North East (94.5 per cent) and lowest in London (79.9 per cent). 

But the disparity was even greater among local authorities. In South Tyneside, 97.7 per cent of two-year-olds had been given the jab, while the rate was a third lower in Hackney, east London (65.4 per cent).

Just 16 of 149 local authorities hit the WHO target 95 per cent, while 61 logged uptake below 90 per cent — including all parts of London.

Vaccine uptake has been falling for years and health chiefs blame the pandemic for some of the drop-off seen in the last 12 months.

For the six-in-one and five-in-one vaccines decreased among one, two and five-year-olds.

These jabs protect against diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio and disease caused by Haemophilus influenzae type b and hepatitis B.

Uptake of the six-in-one jab among one-year-olds fell nationally from 92 to 91.8 per cent in the last year. 

The North East was the only region to exceed the WHO 95 per cent target. All regions apart from London, where uptake was just 86.5 per cent, hit the 90 per cent threshold.

Among two-year-olds, uptake of the six-in-one vaccine fell from 93.8 to 93 per cent in the last year.

And just 94.4 per cent of five-year-olds had the five-in-one vaccine, down from 95.2 per cent one year earlier.

Dr Vanessa Saliba, a consultant epidemiologist at the UKHSA, said: ‘Measles is highly contagious and can be dangerous, and it is extremely worrying that we are seeing levels of uptake of the MMR vaccine falling among young children. 

‘It is also vitally important that children get their polio vaccinations to help prevent the risk of paralysis. 

‘I would urge parents to check that all children are up to date with their vaccines, and if not to get them booked in as soon as possible to make sure they have maximum protection against what can be terrible diseases. 

‘Childhood vaccines also boost population immunity levels, helping prevent outbreaks, so by taking up all vaccinations for our children, we play our part in keeping these diseases confined to the past.’

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