§ Ms Primarolo
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the current take-up of child vaccinations; and what assessment she has made of the factors which lead some parents not to have children vaccinated.
§ Mr. Sackville
The Public Health Laboratory Service's latest "Cover of Vaccination Evaluated Rapidly" figures are:
- 93 per cent. of children have received diphtheria, tetanus and polio immunisations;
- 92 per cent. of children have received pertussis immunisation;
- 92 per cent. of children have received Hib immunisation(all at 12 months);
- 92 per cent. of children have received measles, mumps and rubella immunisation (at 24 months).
The figures show that there are not many children who remain unimmunised. The Health Education Authority has commissioned research with parents of very young children to find out why immunisations were not completed. The main reasons why parents decided not to complete immunisations are:
- (i) loss of commitment after first born child;
- (ii) perception that diseases are no longer serious;
- (iii) perceived difficulty over access to services; and
- (iv) vaccine safety.