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New report addresses local childhood vaccination challenges

22 May 2024

In response to falling rates of critical childhood vaccinations, we have worked in partnership with the NHS and residents to investigate the challenges and propose solutions to improve uptake and help protect our communities.

The newly published Annual Director of Public Health Report focuses on two childhood vaccination programmes - Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) and the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that a target rate of vaccinations be met to prevent transmission of infections and achieve herd immunity, which is not currently being achieved.

It’s estimated that one in four children in the borough born between April 2008 and March 2018 are not fully protected or insufficiently protected against MMR. While local uptake of the HPV vaccine exceeds that of most London boroughs, over the past two years, the number of children who have completed their full course has still been below the target. 

We engaged with hundreds of parents, young people, GP staff and vaccine delivery partners to understand their perspectives and to identify challenges and solutions to improve the vaccination rates locally. Their proposals informed local recommendations as a call to action, to be prioritised and advanced by the local vaccine delivery system. 

Councillor Piers Allen, Lead Member for Adult Social Care, Health & Public Health and Chair of Richmond’s Health & Wellbeing Board, said: 

“Vaccinations are one of the most important public health tools to protect our population from preventable and harmful diseases. I share the concerns about the low vaccination uptake, particularly MMR, amongst our children and young people and the potential risk posed to their health and ability to thrive from a young age; the success of the HPV vaccination for older children and young people contrasts with this.

I feel confident that our local vaccination system comprising the Council, our local NHS and the voluntary sector can work collaboratively to overcome the significant challenges and improve vaccination rates in Richmond upon Thames.”

Read the 2024 Annual Director of Public Health Report for our findings, and the case studies of where good work is currently happening to help address local challenges.

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Up to: May 2024

Updated: 29 May 2024

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