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British nations fail to meet WHO polio vaccine target

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Vaccination coverage in the UK as a whole is 92.6% – 2.4 percentage points below the World Health Organization target of 95%.

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The analysis comes after poliovirus was identified by the UK Health Security Agency in sewage samples collected by Beckton Sewage Treatment Works in London.

Health experts are now urging parents, particularly in London, to get their children vaccinated.

Vaccination rates in the capital remain the lowest in the UK, with 86.7% of children vaccinated against polio before their first birthday in 2020-21. The North West was the second worst region with 91.7% vaccination. The North East is the only English region above the WHO target of having 95.5% of children vaccinated.

Overall, England’s vaccination rate is 92.0%.

Northern Ireland was also below target in the UK with 94.5% of children vaccinated before their first birthday.

However, Scotland and Wales both met the target with vaccination rates of 96.5% and 95.6% respectively.

Vaccination coverage in the UK as a whole is 92.6% – 2.4 percentage points below the World Health Organization target of 95%.

The UK’s vaccination coverage has been below target since 2012-13 when it peaked at 95.1%.

The vaccine comes in a “six-in-one” dose that provides protection against polio, as well as other diseases such as hepatitis B and tetanus.

A basic course is conducted in the first few months of a child’s life, with a booster vaccination required three years after the completion of the basic course.

Councils with the lowest vaccination rates

London communities have the lowest vaccination rates in England, with the 11 worst performing communities all located in the city.

Hackney and the City of London have the lowest vaccination rates in England with 67.8% of children vaccinated against polio before their first birthday.

Camden had the second lowest vaccination rate with 79.2% of children vaccinated, followed by Haringey with 81.6%.

South Tyneside has the highest vaccination rate in England with 98.5% vaccination coverage, followed by Sunderland with 98.2% vaccination and North Tyneside with 97.5% vaccination.

According to Public Health Scotland, only three councils in Scotland were found to be below the WHO target.

Shetland has the lowest vaccination rates in the country with 91.3% of children vaccinated before their first birthday in 2021, followed by Na h-Eileanan Siar with 91.9% and Argyll and Bute with 93.2%.

However, Public Health Scotland notes that utilization rates for the Orkney Islands, Shetland Islands and Nahe Eileanan Siar vary due to the small number of children in the cohorts.

NHS Orkney has also had data recording issues, leading to underreporting of intake rates at 12 months of age.

“Individuals may remain at risk”

Although the overall public health risk is low, health experts encourage parents to vaccinate their children.

The UK Health Security Agency said the most likely scenario for the new polio cases was for a vaccinated person to enter the country before February 2022 from a country where an oral polio vaccine was being used for complementary vaccination campaigns. This is recognized as a “vaccine-derived poliovirus”.

dr Vanessa Saliba, Consulting Epidemiologist at UKHSA, said: “Vaccine-derived poliovirus has the potential to spread, particularly in communities where vaccine uptake is lower.

“On rare occasions, paralysis can occur in people who are not fully vaccinated. So if you or your child are not up to date on their polio vaccinations it is important that you contact your GP to make up for it or if you are unsure consult your Red Book. Most of the UK population will be protected from vaccination during childhood, but in some communities with low immunization coverage, individuals may remain at risk.”

Jane Clegg, chief nurse at the NHS London, added: “The majority of Londoners are fully protected against polio and need not take any further action, but the NHS will start reaching out to parents of children under the age of 5 in London who are with theirs Polio vaccinations are not up to date to invite them to be protected.

“Meanwhile, parents can also check their child’s vaccination status in their Red Book and people should contact their GP practice to book a vaccination if they or their child are not up to date.”

https://www.nationalworld.com/health/polio-vaccine-uk-regions-compare-vaccination-rates-3743201 British nations fail to meet WHO polio vaccine target

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