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MMR jab take-up rate “lagging”

New figures show that the proportion of two-year-olds in Scotland being given the three-in-one MMR jab is still running below recommended levels.

The data show that while immunisation rates for other childhood diseases are exceeding the 95% target, uptake rates are still lagging for the vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella.

According to NHS statistics, the take-up rate among two-year-olds was 91.8% in the latest quarter, a slight rise on the previous quarter’s figures, and 92.1% for the year as a whole.

Among five year-olds, the take-up rate both in the latest quarter and for the year as a whole was 94.4%, which is just below the 95% target set by the World Health Organisation.

The figures remain well above the take-up rate of 85.8% among two-year-olds in 2003, although they are lower than for some quarters in 2006.

However, it is believed this discrepancy may be due to a short-term lack of available vaccination appointments because of a catching-up exercise in another area of the vaccination programme.

Public health minister Shona Robison said: “It is very encouraging that uptake rates for the majority of childhood vaccinations remain above the 95% target.

“It is also good news that uptake rates for MMR have continued to rise over the past few years, although we realise that we need to continue to encourage parents to have their children given this very important vaccine.”

Copyright © PA Business 2008

World Health Organisation

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