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Record number of babies in Hackney and the City have not had primary vaccinations

PUBLISHED: 14:06 21 November 2019 | UPDATED: 14:06 21 November 2019

Hackney and the City have the lowest vaccination rates in the country for babies one and under. Picture: PA

Hackney and the City have the lowest vaccination rates in the country for babies one and under. Picture: PA

PA

A record number of babies in Hackney and the City have not had their primary vaccinations yet, according to NHS data.

More than one in four of children aged one and under did not receive their DTaP/IPV/Hib vaccination in 2018-19, putting them at greater risk than children anywhere else in the country.

The jab protects against diptheria, tetanus, polio, pertussis and haemophilus influenzae type B.

In Hackney 26.9 per cent of under-ones in Hackney had not it, compared to the London average of 12.6 per cent and the national average of 7.9pc.

Meg Hillier, Labour candidate for Hackney South and Shoreditch said the figures were shocking and admitted the exact cause is something "we need to investigate".

Under-ones are also eligible for immunisations against pneumococcal disease (PCV) rotavirus and meningitis B.

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Ms Hillier said infant immunisation was something she hoped to pick up on if re-elected as MP and suggested families staying in Hackney for short lengths of time could affect the statistics.

"We've got people churning through Hackney", she said. "When you've got people who are moving targets, children effectively, then it is going to be more difficult."

In a 2003 report for the London Health Assembly, the director of public health for London, Dr Sue Atkinson, acknowledged London's "very mobile population" could skew immunisation statistics, but said this would only be by a measure of 5pc.

"It puts all children at risk," says Hillier. "There's a lot of children who for various other reasons can't have immunisation because they can't have it in their system or they've just arrived in the country. We need to make sure we have herd immunity."

A measles outbreak last year affected 322 people in Hackney and Haringey, prompting calls for improved immunisation measures.

Rhiannon England of the City and Hackney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: "We are acutely aware of the situation in City and Hackney in relation to our poor vaccination coverage and have been working hard on finding solutions that are sustainable.

"We are working closely with our public health teams at local authorities, GP practices, schools and other related organisations in the area. Our challenges include ensuring excellent access for immunisation at convenient appointment times and addressing reluctance to immunise in some of our local communities because of health or other concerns."

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