MMR jab tae up in Sheffield - over 92% protected

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MORE and more parents in Sheffield are opting to protect their children from common and highly-infectious conditions.

Health bosses have welcomed an increase in the uptake rate for vaccination against measles, mumps and rubella - commonly known as the MMR jab - in children under the age of two.

Figures from primary care trust NHS Sheffield show in 2011/2012, 92.4 per cent of the city’s children were protected against the group of viruses compared with 91.3 per cent during the same period last year.

Both are well above the national average, which last year stood at 85.1 per cent.

The first dose of MMR vaccine is given to children as part of the routine vaccination schedule, usually within a month of their first birthday.

Then they have a booster dose before starting school, which is usually between three and five years of age.

There has been a national drive to increase uptake rates after the now-discredited doctor Andrew Wakefield suggested a link between the jab and autism.

There has been a slight dip in uptake rates for vaccination against meningitis, with 93.9 per cent of children receiving the jab in 2011/2012, down from 94.1 per cent the previous year, but the city maintains what is classed as a high rate of immunisation.

NHS Sheffield has issued a reminder to parents of the importance of vaccination as the summer holidays are underway and children are set to return to school next month.

Bethan Plant, director of public health at NHS Sheffield, said: “We are pleased parents and carers are recognising the importance of childhood immunisations and ensuring their children receive vaccinations. We are working hard to ensure all children are protected.”

Information about meningitis vaccinations is available from GPs.