Today, NHS Digital and the UK Health Security Agency (UKSHA) have released the annual Childhood Vaccination Coverage Statistics for England in 2022-23.
In response, the British Society for Immunology has released the following statement.
Dr Doug Brown, Chief Executive of the British Society for Immunology, said:
“England continues to miss key targets on uptake for vaccinations for children and no routine vaccination reaches the World Health Organization’s (WHO) coverage target of 95% uptake at the correct time point, according to this year’s report on NHS Childhood Vaccination Coverage Statistics.
“It is particularly worrying that today’s statistics show that only 84.5% of children receive the second MMR vaccine dose by age 5 – well below the 95% level recommended by the WHO. Measles is one of the world’s most contagious diseases and cases are currently on the rise in England. We must ensure that vaccination rates improve to stop the spread of measles and give our communities the best possible protection available against this serious illness.
“Vaccines are the safest and most effective method to protect our children against disease. In the past year, 12 out of the 14 childhood vaccinations have seen their uptake decrease, putting our communities at higher risk of infection and illness. Lower levels of vaccination mean that harmful diseases can spread, infecting people who have not been vaccinated, including vulnerable individuals who are unable to have vaccinations such as young babies, people with compromised immune systems or people with cancer.
“The British Society for Immunology has been calling on urgent action from the Government including publishing the long-awaited Vaccine Strategy. This publication should be a comprehensive strategy and a springboard to strengthen the roles of local immunisation co-ordinators, ensure services are accessible, widen community outreach and increase both investment in public health campaigns as well as engagement with parents to answer their questions on vaccines.”
Notes for editors
You can read the full NHS Digital report on Childhood Vaccination Coverage Statistics 2022–23 at https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/nhs-immunisation-statistics/england-2022-23.
You can download a copy of the British Society for Immunology’s booklet on “A guide to childhood vaccinations”. This guide is designed to answer common questions that parents have around how vaccinations work and why they are important.
For more information, please contact:
Teresa Prados, Communications Manager
Tel: +44(0) 7464 621 014
Jennie Evans, Director of External Affairs
Tel: +44(0) 7703 807 444
The British Society for Immunology is the UK organisation representing scientists and clinicians who study the immune system. www.immunology.org.