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NHS data shows drop in childhood vaccination coverage


NHS data shows drop in childhood vaccination coverage

The number of childhood vaccinations administered to children up to the age of five in England fell between 2020-21 and 2021-22 across 13 of 14 vaccines and none met the World Health Organisation’s coverage target of 95 per cent.

Statistics from NHS Digital revealed that coverage for pneumococcal disease (PCV) increased from 93.2 per cent in 2019-20 to 93.8 per cent in 2021-22. However, the figure for 2020-21 was unavailable.

NHS Digital said the falling numbers of vaccines delivered was “likely” to have been caused by the disruption of the Covid pandemic.

In 2021-22, 89.2 per cent of children at 24 months were given their first dose of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine compared with 90.3 per cent in 2020-21. Seven of nine regions reached 90 per cent coverage, with the North-East the highest at 94.5 per cent but still down on 95.3 per cent during the previous year. The lowest level of coverage was in London with 79.9 per cent, down on 82.4 per cent in 2020-21. 

Delivery of the 6-in-1 and 5-in-1 vaccines which protect against diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio, disease caused by Haemophilus influenzae type b and hepatitis B, also fell among children aged 12 and 24 months and five years.

Eight of nine regions reached 90 per cent coverage for the 6-in-1 vaccine in 2021-22. Coverage for the 5-in-1 vaccine for five-year-olds fell from 95.2 per cent in 2020-21 to 94.4 per cent in 2021-22.

The data also revealed drops in coverage for the rotavirus vaccine at eight and 12 weeks (90.2 per cent in 2020-21 to 89.9 per cent in 2021-22), meningococcal group B (MenB) at eight and 16 weeks (92.1 per cent in 2020-21 to 91.5 per cent in 2021-22) and the pneumococcal disease (PCV) booster for one-year-olds (90.1 per cent on 2020-21 to 89.3 per cent in 2021-22).

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