HC Deb 22 March 1995 vol 257 cc210-1W
Mr. Thurnham

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what level of immunisation coverage has been achieved by the measles rubella campaign; and what impact this has had on the number of cases of measles. [15853]

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley

Very high immunisation coverage has been achieved by the campaign so far, and efforts are still being made to reach those children who have not yet been immunised. Coverage in England is 92 per cent. overall; 77 per cent. of districts have immunised at least 90 per cent. of children, with 22 per cent. achieving coverage of 95 per cent. or more; 94 per cent. of school children in Northern Ireland have been immunised and 88 per cent. in Scotland and Wales.

The campaign has led to a fall in measles notifications and in confirmed measles cases. There were 1,774 measles notifications in England and Wales in January and February 1995 compared with 2,476 in the previous two months. In Scotland, where the campaign is not yet complete, there were 283 cases in January and February compared with 437 in the previous two months. About half of the suspected measles cases in England and Wales have been investigated with laboratory tests. There were only nine confirmed measles cases in January and one in February; one further case, a contact of the February case, is being investigated and may be confirmed. This compares with 101 confirmed cases in the previous two months. There have been no confirmed cases in Northern Ireland this year.