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Fall in coverage for all routine childhood vaccinations in England in 2018-19

Coverage1 for all2 routine childhood vaccinations administered to children under five decreased in England in 2018-19 compared to the previous year, a new report shows.

NHS Digital’s Childhood Vaccination Coverage Statistics, published today, contains information on vaccinations measured at the ages of 12 months, 24 months and five years. It shows decreases in coverage ranging from 0.2 to 1.0 percentage points between 2017-18 and 2018-19.

Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR)3 vaccine

  • MMR coverage at 24 months

Coverage for the first dose of the MMR vaccine among children aged 24 months has dropped from 91.2% in 2017-18 to 90.3% in 2018-19. The World Health Organisation (WHO) target is 95%.

This is the fifth consecutive year that MMR coverage in England has decreased, following a peak in 2013-14. There has been a drop of 2.3 percentage points over the last five years.

Regional data4 shows a fall in coverage in eight of the nine English regions in 2018-19 compared to the previous year. It remained unchanged for the North East, which had the highest level of coverage in both years at 94.5%. London had the lowest level of coverage in 2018-19 at 83.0% (down from 85.1% in 2017-18).

  • MMR coverage at five years

Across England, 94.5% of children aged five years had received the first dose of the MMR vaccine in 2018-19, a fall from 94.9% the previous year.

5-in-1 vaccine5

Coverage for the 5-in-1 vaccine, which protects against diphtheria, whooping cough (pertussis), tetanus, polio and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), has decreased among children aged 12 months, 24 months and five years.

Coverage at 12 months fell from 93.1% in 2017-18 to 92.1% in 2018-19. This is the sixth annual decrease in a row, with a 2.6 percentage point drop over that time. Coverage is now at its lowest level since 2008-09.

Among children aged 24 months, coverage has dropped below the 95% target for the first time since 2008-09. It was 94.2% in 2018-19, compared to 95.1% in 2017-18. For children aged five years, coverage was 95.0% in 2018-19 (meeting the target of 95%), down from 95.6% in 2017-18.

 Other vaccinations

 The report also includes coverage data for the pneumococcal disease (PCV), rotavirus, meningococcal group B (MenB), Hib booster and meningococcal group C vaccine (Hib/MenC) and children’s flu vaccines.

This year’s report also includes data on the MenB booster vaccine6 as a National Statistic for the first time, covering a complete year of data. England coverage at the age of 24 months was 87.8% in 2018-19.

 

List of vaccinations, ages at which coverage is measured and coverage for past three years:

Vaccination

Age administered

Age measured

2018-19

2017-18

2016-17

Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio and Haemophilus influenzae type b (DTaP/IPV/Hib)

8, 12 & 16 weeks

12 months

92.1

93.1

93.4

 

 

24 months

94.2

95.1

95.1

 

 

5 years

95.0

95.6

95.6

Pneumococcal disease (PCV)

8 & 16 weeks

12 months

92.8

93.3

93.5

Rotavirus

8 & 12 weeks

12 months

89.7

90.1

89.6

Meningococcal group B (MenB)

8 & 16 weeks

12 months

92.0

92.5

-

Haemophilus influenzae type b and meningococcal group C (Hib / MenC)

1 year

24 months

90.4

91.2

91.5

 

 

5 years

92.2

92.4

92.6

Measles/mumps/rubella (MMR)

1 year

24 months

90.3

91.2

91.6

 

 

5 years

94.5

94.9

95.0

Pneumococcal disease (PCV) booster

1 year

24 months

90.2

91.0

91.5

Meningococcal group B (MenB) booster

1 year

24 months

87.8

-

-

Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, and polio (DTaP/IPV) booster

3 yrs 4 months to 5 yrs

5 years

84.8

85.6

86.2

Measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) second dose

3 yrs 4 months to 5 yrs

5 years

86.4

87.2

87.6

 ENDS

Read the full report

Childhood Vaccination Coverage Statistics


Notes to editors

  1. Coverage is defined as the number of persons immunised as a proportion of the eligible population. The formula for the calculation of coverage is: (Total number of eligible persons immunised / Total number of persons in eligible population) x 100
  2. In 2018-19, coverage declined in all 13 measures of coverage for nine routine childhood vaccinations, compared to the previous year. Changes in coverage cannot be measured for the 10th routine vaccination, Meningococcal group B booster, as this is reported for the first time in 2018-19, therefore no comparison to 2017-18 data is available. Coverage for some vaccines is assessed at multiple ages, resulting in more measures of coverage than vaccinations. 
  3. The MMR vaccine was introduced in 1988 and the highest level of coverage at 24 months was 92.7% in 2013-14. The lowest was in 2003-04 when coverage was 79.9%.
  4. The nine regions are: North East, North West, Yorkshire & Humber, East Midlands, West Midlands, East of England, London, South East and South West.
  5. In September 2017, the 5-in-1 vaccine was replaced with a 6-in-1 vaccine, adding protection against hepatitis B for all babies born after 1 August 2017. Any children vaccinated in 2017-18 will have received either the 5-in-1 vaccine or the 6-in-1 vaccine, depending on when in the year they were vaccinated. For the purposes of this report, children receiving either of these vaccinations will be included within the 5-in-1 numbers. This change mainly affects the 12-month cohort who were all born in 2017-18, it does not significantly impact the 24-month and five-year age cohorts as most of these children will have been vaccinated prior to the introduction of the 6-in-1 vaccine.
  6. Meningococcal group B (MenB) vaccine was introduced into the routine immunisation programme in September 2015 and is offered at 8 and 16 weeks of age with a booster after the first birthday.
  7. Further information on vaccinations is available on the NHS website.