Over 100 children miss out on MMR vaccine
More than 100 youngsters in Hartlepool were not fully vaccinated against a trio of potentially life-threatening diseases last year, according to new figures.
Childhood vaccination statistics show 88% of children were vaccinated against measles, mumps and rubella by the age of five last year – well below the target figure of 95% for the MMR jab.
It also means over 135 youngsters in the area were not fully vaccinated.
Last year, 98% of infants in Hartlepool had their first jab before the age of two, suggesting around 51 did not receive the routine immunisation.
For a child to be fully protected, they should receive two vaccinations, the first at the age of one and the second when they are three
Measles, mumps and rubella can easily spread between unvaccinated people and can lead to serious problems including meningitis, hearing loss and problems during pregnancy.
Dr Vanessa Saliba, from the UK Health Security Agency, said anyone without two doses of the vaccination remained at risk.
She said: "It’s essential that parents take up the offer of MMR for their children. If your child has missed one or both of their MMR vaccinations, contact your GP surgery to arrange an appointment as soon as possible. It is never too late to catch up.”
Nationally, 94% of five-year-olds had received the initial vaccine.
An NHS spokeswoman urged parents to check their child's medical records and ensure immunisations were up to date.
She added: “It’s vital that parents ensure their children are fully protected with this jab – which can ultimately save a child’s life.”