WIRRAL'S public health chief has expressed concern over a decline in the uptake of childhood vaccinations in the borough.

And she is encouraging readers to make sure they and their children are up to date with the jabs.

Her concern comes as NHS figures for England show a worrying reduction in take-up of the vaccinations.

Coverage for the first dose of the MMR - Measles Mumps and Rubella - vaccine among children aged 24 months has dropped from 91.2% in 2017/18 to 90.3% in 2018/19. 

The World Health Organisation target is 95%.

This is the fifth consecutive year that MMR coverage in England has decreased, following a peak in 2013/14.  There has been a drop of 2.3 percentage points over the last five years. 

Regional data shows a fall in coverage in eight of the nine English regions in 2018-19 compared to the previous year.

Julie Webster, Wirral's acting director for health and wellbeing, said: “While Wirral sits above the regional and national rates for MMR and other childhood vaccination uptake, these figures are still concerning. 

“As measles is highly infectious, even small declines in uptake in communities can have an impact, as was seen last year when we experienced a measles outbreak in Wirral. 

“High vaccination coverage in the population is essential to protecting people from vaccine-preventable illnesses such as measles and other infectious diseases. 

“I would encourage all people in Wirral to make surethat they and their children are up to date with their vaccinations via their GP.”

Health secretary Matt Hancock has said there is a “very strong argument” for making it compulsory for school children to be vaccinated.

The cabinet minister said he had received legal advice on the issue in recent days and was looking at it after becoming concerned about falling vaccination rates.

Speaking at a fringe event at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester Mr Hancock said social media companies had “a lot to answer for” for spreading anti-vaccine views.

Mr Hancock said: “We need a massive drive to get these vaccination rates back up.

“I said before that we should be open minded, and frankly, what I’d say is that when we – the state – provide services to people, then it’s a two-way street, you have got to take your responsibilities too.

“So I think there is a very strong argument for having compulsory vaccinations for children when they go to school because otherwise they are putting other children at risk."


DTaP-IPV-Hib at 12months:  94.3% uptake (trend down on previous year 95.7%). DTaP-IPV-Hib at 24 months: 97.3% uptake (slightly up on previous year 97.2%). 

MMR one dose at 24 months: 94.5% uptake (down on previous year 94.7%). 

MMR two doses at five years: 92.8% uptake (down on previous year 93.8%). 

MenB at 12 months: 94.3% uptake (down on previous year 95.8%).

Rota at 12months: 92.2% uptake (down on previous year 93.2%). 

PCV at 12 months: 94.7% uptake (down on previous year 96.1%).

Hib/Men C at 24 months: 94.7% uptake (slightly up from previous year 94.6%). 

DTaP-IPV booster five years: 91.7% uptake (down on previous year 94.4%).    


DTaP-IPV-Hib – Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, Haemophilus influenzae type B (5-in-1)

MMR – Measles, Mumps, Rubella

MenB – Meningitis B

Rota – Rotavirus

PCV - Pneumococcal

Hib /Men C - Haemophilus influenzae type B &Meningitis C