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UKHSA launches TV and radio adverts to persuade parents to get children immunised





Parents who haven’t had their children immunised against infections such as measles and whooping cough are to be the target of a new NHS campaign from this week.

In video adverts set to appear across television, radio and the internet children’s voices will be heard saying “If we're not vaccinated, we're not protected."

A new campaign from March 4 aims to encourage parents to bring children forward. Image: iStock.
A new campaign from March 4 aims to encourage parents to bring children forward. Image: iStock.

Health officials are targeting parents in a bid to drive-up the number of children being brought forward for routine vaccinations amid growing concerns over faling uptake rates and rising cases of measles.

For the past decade, fewer families have been attending appointments for routine NHS vaccinations including those for whooping cough, measles, mumps and rubella, polio, meningitis and diphtheria.

The NHS is trying to encourage parents to book immunisation appointments. Image: iStock.
The NHS is trying to encourage parents to book immunisation appointments. Image: iStock.

As a result, says the UKHSA, England no longer has the levels of population immunity recommended by the World Health Organisation to prevent outbreaks.

The government is launching the new campaign across England from Monday, March 4 to remind parents of the risks that are associated with not taking-up the offer of jabs for serious diseases that are now re-emerging across the country.

Its comes as the latest weekly figures for measles cases confirm another 69 infections in the past week. This brings the total number of cases to 650 since October 2023. While the majority have been recorded in the Midlands, six have been reported in the South East.

Measles cases in England are continuing to rise. Image: iStock.
Measles cases in England are continuing to rise. Image: iStock.

Rachel Mearkle, consultant in Health Protection at UKHSA South East, said: “We need an urgent reversal of the decline in the uptake of childhood vaccinations to protect our communities. Through this campaign we are particularly appealing to parents to check their children’s vaccination status and book appointments if their children have missed any immunisations.

“The ongoing measles outbreak we are seeing is a reminder of the very present threat.

“Unless uptake improves we will start to see the diseases that these vaccines protect against re-emerging and causing more serious illness.”

Alongside the new campaign, parents of children aged six to 11 who are missing MMR vaccines are also being traced as part of a nationwide catch-up programme.



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