Plea for parents to get their children vaccinated

April 28 2017

HUNDREDS of children in South Gloucestershire have missed key vaccination doses or not been immunised at all.

HUNDREDS of children in South Gloucestershire have missed key vaccination doses or not been immunised at all.

Now a new campaign has been launched to urge parents and carers to check their child’s vaccinations are up to date in order to protect them from serious diseases and to prevent outbreaks of the illnesses.

Health experts said the majority of parents made sure their youngsters were protected through childhood immunisation from diseases such as some strains of meningitis, diphtheria, measles, mumps, rubella and whooping cough.

Successful vaccination programmes had helped to make such diseases much rarer but they were still in circulation and if vaccination levels fell, the likelihood of an outbreak was increased. 

Last year, 91 per cent  of South Gloucestershire children had received both doses of the MMR jab, leaving 293 potentially unprotected. 

Similarly, 93 per cent of eligible youngsters had received the four-in-one pre-school booster, with 239 not fully protected against the risk of diphtheria, polio, tetanus and whooping cough. It is likely that these children missed other earlier jabs too.

 The NHS said it was particularly important for a child to be up to date with their vaccinations before starting school, as this was when they came into contact with many more potential sources of infection.   

Nigel Acheson, Medical Director for NHS England South, said: “While the majority of parents are ensuring their child is fully vaccinated, many children are still missing doses, putting them at risk. 

“Vaccination protects children and the wider population from serious diseases and it is vital that they complete all the doses to build up the right levels of protection, particularly before they go to school.

He said parents should speak to their GP practice to check if their child was up-to-date with their jabs.