Public Health England’s ‘Vaccination coverage statistics for children aged up to five years in the UK (COVER programme)’ for the first quarter of 2016 has found that London is consistently ranked bottom for immunising children aged 5 and under against a range of vaccine preventable diseases.
Coverage data collected from NHS England reveals that London is worst at delivering the five-in-one diptheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio and hib disease vaccine (DTap/IPV/Hib3); the Meningitis C vaccine; and the porcine circoviral type 2 vaccine (PCV2) to children reaching their first birthday.
It is also ranked last for delivering the PCV booster, Hib/MenC vaccine and the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR1) to children reaching their second birthday. London also fared worst in terms of immunising children aged five and under against DTap/IPV/Hib3, MMR1, MMR2, and Hib/MenC.
For children aged five and under, London’s rate of the four-in-one diptheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio vaccine was markedly lower at 77.4% coverage, as opposed to Cumbria and the North East’s 93.6%.
Public Health England have qualified the DTap/IPV coverage rates by claiming that such disparities may have been caused by an inconsistency between the information provided by Public Health England in the COVER user guidance, and the information standard.
However, Public Health England cannot currently account for the discrepancy, and an investigation has been launched.
Whilst no conclusions can yet be drawn to account for such regional disparities, findings may suggest that adults in London underestimate the significance of immunisation.