Coverage for all routine childhood vaccinations administered to children under 5 in England in 2021–22 has been published today.
NHS Digital’s Childhood Vaccination Coverage Statistics contains information on the routine vaccinations offered to all children up to the age of 5 years, derived from the Cover of vaccination evaluated rapidly (COVER) programme.
This report, which is co-authored with the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), includes information on 14 measures of vaccination coverage. At a national level, coverage has decreased for 13 of these.
The only vaccination where coverage has increased is Pneumococcal Disease (PCV) primary, but this is a comparison with 2019–20’s figures, as 2020–21 data is not available.
The disruption caused by the Covid pandemic, beginning in March 2020, is likely to have caused some of the decreases in vaccine coverage seen in 2020–21 and 2021-22, compared to earlier years.
Chris Roebuck, NHS Digital’s chief statistician, said: ‘We publish these statistics to help inform the development and evaluation of Government policy on immunisation.
‘The annual report is also used to assess the effectiveness of the vaccine programme at a local, regional and national level.’
Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine
In 2021–22, 89.2% of children at 24 months had completed their first dose of the MMR vaccine, which is a decrease from 90.3% in 2020–21. The World Health Organization (WHO) target is 95%.
Regional data shows seven of the nine regions reached 90% coverage. No region exceeded the 95% target. The North East had the highest level of coverage at 94.5% (down from 95.3% the previous year). London had the lowest level of coverage in 2021–22 at 79.9% (down from 82.4% in 2020–21).
In 2021–22, 16 local authorities out of 149 had coverage levels of 95% and above. Coverage of less than 90% was reported for 61 local authorities including all London authorities.
In 2021–22, 85.7% of children received their 2nd dose of MMR vaccine (MMR2) by their 5th birthday, a decrease from 86.6% in the previous year.
6-in-1 and 5-in-1 vaccines
Coverage for the 6-in-1/5-in-1 vaccine, which protects against diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio, disease caused by Haemophilus influenzae type b and hepatitis B, decreased among children aged 12 months, 24 months and 5 years.
In 2021–22, 91.8% of children were reported to have completed their primary course of three doses of the 6-in-1 at 12 months. This is a decrease from 2020–21 when coverage was 92.0%.
In 2021–22, 8 out of 9 regions reached 90% coverage for the 6-in-1 vaccine. The North East was the only region to exceed the national target of 95% and London had the lowest coverage at 86.5%.
Among children aged 24 months, coverage of the 6-in-1 vaccine fell from 93.8% in 2020-21 to 93.0% in 2021–22.
For children aged five years, coverage for the 5-in-1 vaccine was 94.4% in 2021-22. This is lower than the 95.2% coverage reported in 2020–21.
The report also includes coverage data for pneumococcal disease (PCV), rotavirus, meningococcal group B (MenB)7, Hib booster and meningococcal group C vaccine (Hib/MenC) and children’s flu vaccines.