Scotland at risk of measles epidemic spreading from south?

From Public Health Scotland in September 2021:

Uptake rates [of the MMR vaccine] remained high in Scotland; over 96% of children had received each routine immunisation by the time they were 12 months old, with the exception of rotavirus vaccine, which had 94.5% uptake. 95.0% of children had the first dose of MMR vaccine by 24 months of age. This rose to 96.8% for children who reached age five. Uptake of the second dose of MMR vaccine by five years was 93.2%, rising to 94.5% by age six years.

https://www.publichealthscotland.scot/publications/childhood-immunisation-statistics-scotland/childhood-immunisation-statistics-scotland-quarter-and-year-ending-30-june-2021/

From the Nuffield Trust in August 2021:

Between 1994 and 1997, there was a relatively steady rate of measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine coverage for children reaching their second birthday in England, of around 91%. In 1998, a now discredited article appeared in The Lancet which linked the MMR vaccination to autism. Uptake decreased significantly, and by 2003/04 only 79.9% of children were vaccinated. The Lancet partially retracted the paper in 2004 and fully retracted it in 2010, and coverage consequently improved, reaching 92.7% in 2013/14. However, by 2019/20 MMR coverage had fallen to 90.6%. 

https://www.nuffieldtrust.org.uk/resource/vaccination-coverage-for-children-and-mothers-1#background

Note that the Lancet article did not affect MMR uptake in Scotland.

From Global Health Now in December 2019:

Typically, 93% to 95% of a population must be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity and prevent an outbreak of measles. Currently, the coverage rate in the US for the vaccine against measles in children 19–35 months is 90.4%, not even within that range. In 20 states, the vaccination rate is below 90%.

https://www.globalhealthnow.org/2019-12/myth-about-herd-immunity

Across England, measles immunisation is too low for herd immunity.

In London, the uptake in 2019/20 was only 76.9% with only the South-West and North-East reaching above 91%.

Click to access CBP-8556.pdf

Given the links and movement between related families and friends in London and in parts of Scotland, this is a cause for concern. Measles will hospitalise 1 in 4 and kill 1/2 in 1 000, around the same as Covid.

Worldwide, measles deaths climbed 50% from 2016 to 2019.

https://www.hps.scot.nhs.uk/publications/hps-weekly-report/volume-54/issue-46/worldwide-measles-deaths-climb-50-from-2016-to-2019/

According to the Scotsman in 2019, there were 991 cases in the previous year in England and just 2 in Scotland but both had been ‘imported.’

https://www.scotsman.com/news/scottish-news/uk-loses-measles-free-status-experts-warn-lives-now-risk-541953

I can see no more recent data.

Another case for a controlled border?

8 thoughts on “Scotland at risk of measles epidemic spreading from south?

  1. In 2019 the UK lost its WHO designation as a measles free. Note ‘the UK’ lost its measles free status. This was how almost all of the reports at the time in newspapers and professional health publications headlined it. Yet when you read the articles, and I have read a fair few across a range of publications, the only part of the UK mentioned are England with Wales tagged on.

    At the time I checked out the immunisation figures across England and Scotland. England’s were appalling with some areas in the 60-70% range while Scotland’s figures were up in the low to mid 90% range. Furthermore the few, very few lab confirmed cases in Scotland were all imported and usually teenagers. So Scotland lost its measles free status because it was lumped in with ‘the UK’. As usual in such cases Scotland’s superior performance was not mentioned.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. This should certainly ring alarm bells for the Scottish government and it would be ideal if they could take steps to avoid this from spreading into Scotland, difficult one though. I can’t see border control being implemented, the tragic thing is of course children can and do die of Measles, which should not be a thing in the UK in the 21st century, it’s so simple to vaccinate.
    England needs to get their act together to make sure their children are protected,
    no doubt as they are struggling so much with their NHS being dismantled, that is proving even harder now. The EngGov needs to get on the case and spend some money on a campaign to vaccinate against measles in England, but, they won’t.

    Scary to think that cases have gone up so hugely worldwide as well.

    Liked by 1 person

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