According to Unicef, between 2010 and 2017 more than half a million children in the UK were not given the measles vaccine.
The charity’s analysis indicated that globally, 169 million children missed out on the first dose of the vaccine over seven years.
Measles is a highly infectious viral illness that can lead to serious health complications, including infections of the lungs, eyes and brain. Children with weak immune systems are most at risk of complications, common symptom included diarrhoea and vomiting, lung infections and fits caused by a fever.
Simon Stevens, NHS Chief, warned that in just one year the number of measles cases had almost quadrupled.
Health experts say children should have two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine to fully protect against the disease. The first dose is given to babies around their first birthday and the second dose before starting school when three to four years old.
The report shows that between 2010 and 2017, the UK was listed third for the number of unvaccinated children in high-income countries, it was reported that 527,000 children did not get their first dose of the vaccine.
Unicef reported that the figures for the second dose of the measles vaccine “were even more alarming”.
Henrietta Fore, Executive Director at Unicef, said: “If we are serious about averting the spread of this dangerous but preventable disease, we need to vaccinate every child, in rich and poor countries alike.”
Professor Beate Kampmann, at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, described the figures as a “wake-up call”.
She said: “One thing is certain though: A single person with measles will be able to infect 90 other people who are not immune.
“We must protect children and communities against this potentially very serious but entirely preventable infectious disease – and the only way to do that is through vaccination.”
If your child has not received the measles vaccination, which is usually delivered as part of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) NHS childhood vaccination programme, our clinic can help.
Here at Harrow Health Care Centre, we can vaccinate both adults and children of any age regardless of their previous vaccine status. Call and make an appointment today.