London could be about to face a dangerous measles outbreak like that seen in Wales as we have one of the lowest vaccination rates in the UK, an expert has warned.
The England average for MMR vaccination was 80% among five-year-olds in 2003, but in London it stood at just 45% for the two required doses, said Helen Bedford, a pediatric epidemiologist at University College London. That leaves London teenagers today particularly susceptible to infection.
Bedford said: “There is a potential for more outbreaks. Children are going to get measles. There are about two million children who are susceptible because they haven’t been vaccinated. London is a particular case of point.”
She added that “10 years ago, MMR was getting a lot of bad press. It’s not surprising that coverage rates fell with parents frightened by the news reports.” Some 800 children so far have caught measles in Swansea.
If you’re concerned, try the NHS’s help pages on measles.