NHS Digital has released the annual report on NHS Immunisation Statistics, England, 2021–22 today.
In response, the British Society for Immunology has released the following statement.
Dr Doug Brown, Chief Executive of the British Society for Immunology, said:
“Today’s publication of the childhood vaccination statistics in England is extremely worrying, showing decreases in the uptake of 13 out of the 14 routine vaccinations compared with last year and marking yet another year where the 95% target set out by the World Health Organization has not been met on any of the childhood vaccinations at the correct timepoint.
“Immediate action to reverse this alarming multi-year downward trend and protect our communities from preventable diseases is urgently needed. In particular, the 2021-22 statistics show that only 85.7% of five-year-olds have received both MMR vaccines. Measles is a highly infectious disease and to stop its spread we must meet the 95% uptake level recommended by the World Health Organization.
“Vaccines save lives and are the safest and most effective method to protect our children against disease. Low levels of vaccination coverage matter as it means these diseases have the potential to spread within our communities, infecting unvaccinated people, including vulnerable individuals unable to have vaccinations such as young babies or people with cancer. We can and must do better.
“The British Society for Immunology is calling once again on urgent action from the Government – the promised Vaccine Strategy outlining the plan to increase childhood vaccine uptake is still yet to be published. The COVID-19 pandemic is not over but the negative impact of these other preventable diseases isn't either. The Government’s Vaccine Strategy must be released as a matter of priority and significant investment on routine vaccination services must be made to implement the lessons learnt from the success of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. This includes strengthening the role of local immunisation co-ordinators, ensuring services are accessible, widening community outreach and increasing engagement with parents to answer their questions on vaccines.
“The UK is a world leader in vaccine research and the British Society for Immunology is committed to working with healthcare professionals to ensure that this excellence is reflected in the provision of vaccines to our children to prevent disease.”
Notes for editors
You can read the full NHS Digital report on England vaccinations statistics 2021–22 at https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/nhs-immunisation-statistics/2021-22.
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.