Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) have been asked by the Chief Medical Officer, Sir Liam Donaldson, to offer MMR vaccine to every child up to the age of 18 years who has not been vaccinated. Scientific advice from the Health Protection Agency and the Department of Health (DH) is that levels of MMR immunisation urgently need to be increased. The Department of Health is making extra vaccine and funds available to help local Trusts run campaigns to try to ensure that every child up to the age of 18 years has been vaccinated against measles.
There is particular concern about measles, as the number of cases in England is rising after 10 years of relatively low uptake of the MMR vaccine. Estimates suggest that around three million children aged 18 months to 18 years have missed either their first or second MMR vaccination. The DH will be supplying extra MMR vaccine to PCTs and an average PCT will receive extra funding of £30,000 to help with the campaign.