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MMR Vaccine

Volume 487: debated on Tuesday 3 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information campaigns have been undertaken by his Department to encourage uptake of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine in each of the last five years; what expenditure his Department has incurred on such campaigns in each year; and what targets he has set for the uptake of the vaccine in the next 12 months. (252949)

As with all vaccines, clear factual information on the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine is available from our information resources, such as leaflets, factsheets and the immunisation website, and through health professions working in primary care.

In 2004 the Department collaborated with NHS London on their ‘MMR capital catch-up' campaign. In August 2008 the Department issued guidance to primary care trusts (PCTs) on what actions should be taken to improve MMR uptake in their area. This initiative was supported by an information leaflet and surgery poster and on-line with a question and answer, ‘Big facts' sheet and a measles infection timeline. The Department's cost for the provision of information materials was £10,000 and £8,000 respectively.

Childhood immunisation is a ‘tier 2 Vital Sign' which means it is an NHS priority. As such, PCTs must set targets to improve vaccination uptake and agree these with their strategic health authorities (SHAs). The SHAs, with the help of the Department, monitor the PCTs against these targets.