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We must act now to limit serious outbreaks

02 February 2022
Volume 3 · Issue 1

We must put everything in place to catch up now to limit serious outbreaks across the UK, and I am not referring to COVID-19 this time but measles. Of course, we must still do everything we can to limit the spread of COVID-19 and make sure that children who are eligible get their vaccines but at the same time we must ensure that the recent drop in routine childhood immunisations uptake, due to some extent to the pandemic, does not lead to a major outbreak.

Measles is highly infectious and a high immunisation uptake is necessary to ensure herd immunity. Despite an estimated 86% of the world's children having received one dose of the measles vaccine by the age of one, there were 140 000 measles deaths globally in 2018. Most of these deaths were in children under the age of 5 years (World Health Organisation, 2019). The latest figures show that vaccine coverage in England is at 85.5%, well below the recommended 95% (see page 6) (UK Health Security Agency, 2022).

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