Thousands of the East Riding children left unprotected from measles over the last decade

The charity Unicef said increasing numbers of youngsters are being left at risk.
The charity Unicef said increasing numbers of youngsters are being left at risk.

Thousands of children in the East Riding have been left unprotected from measles over the last decade.

The charity Unicef said increasing numbers of youngsters are being left at risk.

It said that vaccination rates are plummeting, with inaccurate and misleading anti-vaccination messages on social media thought to be among the reasons.

Public Health England figures show that between April 2010 and December 2018, 1,271 children had not received their first vaccination against measles, mumps and rubella by the age of five.

The Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he would not rule out banning unvaccinated children from schools.

When asked if he would follow measures attempted in France and the US to tackle measles, he said: “I wouldn’t rule out anything but I don’t think we’re there yet.”

Mary Ramsay, Public Health England’s head of immunisations, said: “The UK achieved WHO measles elimination status in 2017, so the overall risk of measles to the UK population is low.

“However due to ongoing measles outbreaks in Europe, we will continue to see cases, particularly in unimmunised individuals.”

Report by Isabelle Kirk, data reporter.