Dozens of the East Riding of Yorkshire babies have missed out on important jabs meant to protect them from potentially deadly illnesses, new figures reveal.
The British Society for Immunology has urged the new government to deliver on its promise to develop the UK’s first vaccine strategy to protect communities against “nasty diseases”.
Young children should get the so-called six-in-one jab, which protects against six serious infections including polio, whooping cough and diphtheria, in the first few months of their lives.
Public Health England data shows that 35 children in the East Riding of Yorkshire who had their first birthday in the six months to September missed out on the vaccination.
But 97.4% of one year olds did have it, meaning the area was above the 95% rate recommended by the World Health Organisation to prevent outbreaks.
The uptake rate for Yorkshire and The Humber over the period was 93.7%, while the figure across England stood at 92.1%.
The British Society for Immunology said the uptake rate across England for the six-in-one vaccine among one year olds has averaged around 92% over the past year.
“Low levels of vaccination coverage matter as it means these diseases have the potential to spread within our communities, infecting unvaccinated people, with young babies and people with compromised immune systems particularly at risk,” said Dr Doug Brown, the group’s chief executive.
“We urge the new government to deliver on its promise to develop the UK’s first vaccine strategy and to fully fund immunisation services to ensure our communities are protected against these preventable diseases.”
But he also urged parents to make sure their children get the jabs.
Health minister Nicola Blackwood said: “Every child must be vaccinated against dangerous and potentially fatal diseases. Vaccine uptake is very high, at around 90%, for most childhood vaccines, but we are determined to drive rates up even further.
“Our new vaccination strategy, published in the new year, will consider a range of approaches to improve uptake.”