Concern over fall in MMR jab take-up
HEALTH bosses in Suffolk are urging parents to protect their children by giving them the MMR jab after new figures revealed a drop in the number of youngsters protected against measles, mumps and rubella.
HEALTH bosses are urging parents to protect their children by giving them the MMR jab after new figures revealed a drop in the number of youngsters protected against measles, mumps and rubella.
The latest figures published for the third quarter of last year by NHS East of England, the region's strategic health authority, show that only 87.5pc of children are being immunised at two years old and only 82pc are taking up the second dose at five.
Although this reflects the average across England, Dr Brian Keeble, immunisations co-ordinator at NHS Suffolk, warned that levels were still short of the 95pc take-up required to prevent an epidemic.
'We would like to see a 95pc uptake for both doses so we have got quite a lot of work to do to persuade parents.'
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News of the dip in the number of youngsters receiving the vaccine in Suffolk comes a week after the General Medical Council (GMC) announced that the doctor at the centre of the controversy over the MMR jab would be struck off.
Andrew Wakefield was found guilty of serious professional misconduct at a hearing in London.
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Dr Alistair Lipp, director of public health for NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney, said The anxiety caused by the discredited research study linking autism with MMR had been a tragedy for many children who have missed out on MMR immunisation and subsequently developed measles and in some cases serious complications.
He said: 'Fortunately parents are recognising the value of the MMR vaccination and rates are rising back to safe levels Currently our take up rate is 84pc We hope to reach 95pc uptake in the next year or two."