West Midlands parents urged to keep children up to date with immunisations - The Coventry Observer

West Midlands parents urged to keep children up to date with immunisations

Coventry Editorial 18th Oct, 2022   0

PARENTS across the West Midlands are being urged to ensure their children are up-to-date with their immunisations.

The advice comes from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) as new data shows vaccination coverage for young children fell last year for virtually all programmes.

And figures for the West Midlands show vaccine uptake for all childhood diseases remains well below the recommended 95 per cent required to protect the population.

Data for 2021 to 2022 shows by their second birthday, only 93.4 per cent of children in the region were protected against diphtheria, tetanus, polio and pertussis (whooping cough) – a notable drop from the 97.3 per cent high seen in 2010 to 2011.




When it comest to MMR, only 89.4 per cent of two-year-olds had protection from measles, mumps and rubella – plummeting from 93.6 per cent coverage seen in 2013 to 2014 – That figure was still below the safe threshold to give herd immunity.

Across England’s nine regions, the West Midlands comes eighth in the league table of coverage for all immunisations in those first two years, with only London being worse.


By their fifth birthday only 85.2 per cent of West Midlands children have had both MMR jabs, and only 84.2 per cent had their boosters for diphtheria, tetanus, polio and pertussis.

Caryn Cox, Health Protection Consultant with UKHSA West Midlands – leading on vaccine preventable diseases, said:

“Measles is highly contagious, and in some cases, it can be very dangerous – with complications including pneumonia, meningitis, blindness and seizures (fits).

“This is why children should have their first MMR vaccine aged 12 to 15 months, with their second at around three years, four months, and especially before they start school.

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

She urged all parents and guardians to check their children were up-to-date with their vaccines and, if not, to get them booked in as soon as possible so they have maximum protection against what can be ‘terrible and life-altering’ illnesses.

Visit nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/nhs-vaccinations-and-when-to-have-them/ for more on immunisations.

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