Immunisations are an essential part of protecting children’s health and that of the community. Low vaccine uptake puts children at risk, particularly in view of high rates of migration from countries that are experiencing a resurgence of certain diseases. Children who have not been vaccinated may struggle to cope with certain diseases.
Vaccination coverage is the best indicator of the level of protection a population will have against vaccine-preventable communicable diseases. Coverage is closely correlated with levels of disease. Monitoring coverage identifies possible drops in immunity before levels of disease rise.
The European Region of the World Health Organization (WHO) currently recommends that on a national basis at least 95% of children are immunised against diseases preventable by immunisation and targeted for elimination or control (specifically, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, Hib, measles, mumps and rubella). Coverage at a regional level should be at least 90%. The routine childhood immunisation programme for the UK includes these immunisations recommended by WHO as well as a number of others as defined by Public Health England (PHE). There is an expectation that UK coverage for all routine childhood immunisations evaluated up to five years of age achieves 95%.
Key findings for Lancashire-14
These key findings are based on Public Health England data for 2016/17:
- In Blackpool (93.7%) and Blackburn with Darwen (91.2%), the percentage of eligible children receiving three doses of Dtap/IPV/Hib vaccine at any time by their first birthday is above the local target of 90%; in Lancashire-12 (89.4%) it is lower than the local target (England average = 93.4%).
- Based on the recent trend (2012/13 to 2016/17), across the Lancashire-14 area, the percentage of eligible children receiving the Dtap/IPV/Hib vaccine at any time by their first or second birthday is decreasing.
- In Blackpool (97.0%), Blackburn with Darwen (94.3%) and Lancashire-12 (91.6%) the percentage of eligible children receiving the completed course of Men C vaccine by their first birthday is above the local target of 90%, with Blackpool exceeding the 95% coverage level.
- In Lancashire-12, the percentage of eligible children receiving the complete course of pneumococcal vaccine (PCV) by their first birthday has increased from 80.7% in 2015/16 to 90.9% in 2016/17. In Blackpool (93.9%) and Blackburn with Darwen (93.2%) the coverage level for PCV is above the local target of 90% (England average = 93.5%).
- Coverage for one dose of MMR vaccine in Lancashire-12, for children reaching their second birthday, increased from 88.2% in 2015/16 to 91.5% in 2016/17. In Blackpool it reduced from 90.6% in 2015/16 to 89.8% in 2016/17; Blackburn with Darwen's coverage rate remains above the local target of 90%.
- The Lancashire-12 area (95.7%), Blackpool (94.3%) and Blackburn with Darwen (94.2%) are above the 90% coverage target for the percentage of eligible children receiving one dose of MMR vaccine on or after their first birthday and at any time up to their fifth birthday.
- The percentage of Lancashire-14 area's eligible children receiving two doses of MMR vaccine on or after their first birthday and at any time up to their fifth birthday remains below the local target of 90% with recent trend showing signs of decrease in Lancashire-12 and Blackburn with Darwen.
Page updated April 2018