Figures in England and Wales show that the proportion of children having the MMR jab continues to rise and is now almost as high as it was in the mid 1990’s.
MMR vaccination rates dropped after Andrew Wakefield suggested there might be a link between the jab, bowel disease and autistic spectrum disorders in the late 1990’s. The media later seized on this when Tony Blair refused to reveal if his son had been vaccinated and scared parents started doubting the safety of the triple jab.
Wakefields link has been debunked time and the paper that kicked off the whole mess has been retracted by the Lancet in addition to this on 24 May 2010 Wakefield was struck off the United Kingdom medical register
Children are invited to have at least one dose of MMR by their second birthday, with the second dose completed by the age of five. The data shows that, in 2010/11, 89.1% of children in England had received at least one dose of the MMR vaccine by their second birthday, compared with 88.2% in 2009/10 and a low of 79.9% in 2003/04. Other figures show a rise across the country in the number of children vaccinated against meningitis C, receiving the combined diphtheria, tetanus, polio, pertussis and haemophilus influenzae type b (DTaP/IPV/Hib) vaccine, and the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has set target of more than 95% of children vaccinated with the MMR jab – the figure needed for herd immunity.
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