Some unjabbed kids, yesterday.
London saw a significant rise in measles in 2008, with 721 confirmed cases compared with 424 in 2007. This from 1217 cases across England and Wales last year. The Health Protection Agency (HPA) pins the rise to a lower uptake of the combined MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine during the past ten years. Despite novel efforts to promote the vaccine, 70% of London's children receive the vaccine, while England’s mean rate is 83%. In November alone, the number of cases across England and Wales exceeded that for the whole of 1996. A decade of relatively low vaccination coverage was triggered by the claim of a link between the MMR jab and autism, since been debunked. Although most patients recover fully from measles, one in ten cases requires hospitalisation and it can lead to pneumonia, brain damage or death. Image from Cakehole. Words by Stripy Ben.