MMR vaccine uptake increases for the first time in six years

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The proportion of children having their first dose of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) jab has increased for the first time in six years.

New data from NHS Digital shows that, while coverage is still below the 95% needed for herd immunity, the proportion having the first dose of the vaccine by age two has risen from 90.3% in 2018/19 to 90.6% in 2019/20.

This is the first time in six years that MMR coverage in England has increased, following a peak of 92.7% in 2013/14.

Dr Andrew Wakefield’s 1998 Lancet study caused vaccination rates to plummet, resulting in a rise in measles.

The findings were later discredited and the General Medical Council (GMC) struck him off, ruling he had been “dishonest, irresponsible and showed callous disregard for the distress and pain” of children.

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