The national immunisation programme aims to improve the control of infectious diseases through vaccination (Salisbury D. Ramsay M. Noakes K., 2011). The aim is usually to achieve a vaccine coverage of 95% to make sure communities benefit from ‘herd immunity’, where the indirect protection from infection of susceptible members of the population, and the protection of the population as a whole is brought about by the presence of immune individuals (Health Protection Agency, 2010).
For the period 2009-2010 the childhood vaccine coverage for York practices in 1 year-olds has dropped from 96% to 95%, however this is still above the recommended level to afford herd immunity. The measles mumps and rubella (MMR) coverage for 2 year-olds for the same period has remained stable at 91%.
The Health Protection Agency regional report noted that 85% of children had received two doses of measles mumps and rubella by the age of five years in Yorkshire and The Humber in 2009-2010 (Health Protection Agency).
The coverage of childhood vaccines for children at 5 years-old in York practices was 85% for 2009-2010. This is not comparable to previous figures as it relates to the full rather than primary course.
Seasonal Influenza Vaccination
The annual seasonal influenza vaccination is offered to targeted groups within the population, including those with specific long-term conditions and those over the age of 65 years.
In 2008-2009, the influenza vaccination rate in people over the age of 65 years in York was 79%, which compared well with the PCT rate of 76% and the England rate of 74% (Health Protection Agency).
During the 2010-2011 vaccination period, the uptake rate for York was 74.0% compared to the England rate of 72.8%. This seems to be a small drop in the uptake of the seasonal influenza vaccine, which will need monitoring in the future.