From NHS Scotland today:
- Annual uptake rates remained high in Scotland in 2019; around 96% of children had received each routine immunisation by the time they were 12 months of age, apart from rotavirus vaccine, which had 93.2% uptake.
- Rotavirus vaccine must be given within a short time window (first dose before 15 weeks, second dose before 24 weeks), which explains the slightly lower uptake rate for this vaccine.
- The vast majority of children received their booster vaccines by 24 months of age; Hib/MenC (94.3%), Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) (94.4%), MenB (93.5%).
- For the MMR vaccine, which is first offered at 12 to 13 months of age:
– 94.0% of children had the first dose of MMR vaccine by 24 months of age. This rose to 96.6% for children who reached age five in 2019.
– Uptake of the second dose of MMR vaccine by five years was 91.4%, rising to 92.9% by age six years.
The situation elsewhere in the UK is particularly disturbing as we await a coronavirus vaccine:
Experts have expressed alarm at the drop in take-up of all routine childhood vaccinations across England, with a marked decline in rates against 13 different diseases, which leaves many thousands of children under-protected. The UK recently lost its measles-free status because of the fall in rates of MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) immunisation. But the latest figures from NHS Digital for England in the year to the end of March 2019 show a loss of confidence for vaccinations more generally. At the ages of 12 months, 24 months and five years there has been a marked decline in vaccination rates against 13 different diseases, including whooping cough (pertussis), diphtheria and meningitis. Measles protection is down again – part of a protracted fall in take-up of the MMR jab that has led to outbreaks across Europe, which have then spread into England. Measles had been officially eradicated in the UK, but the World Health Organization recently withdrew its measles-free status. Coverage of 95% of the population is necessary to prevent outbreaks. Among children aged 24 months, vaccination in England has dropped from 91.2% in 2017-18 to 90.3% in 2018-19. The rate has gone down each year for the last five years.