10:20am Friday 27th April 2012
By Louise Robertson
Health experts at NHS Surrey have pushed the importance of vaccinations for children.
They are using European Immunisation Week, from April 21 to 27, to remind parents to immunise their children against childhood illnesses.
According to latest figures, one in 10 children living in Surrey had not been vaccinated against childhood illnesses such as diphtheria, tetanus and polio by their second birthday. This means these children are at risk of getting serious infections which could be prevented through vaccination.
Doctor Janet Lambley, public health consultant at NHS Surrey, said: “Immunisation is the safest way to protect children against diseases which can potentially be very harmful.
“As part of the NHS vaccination programme, immunisation is available against a range of illnesses including diphtheria, tetanus, measles, mumps and polio to name but a few.
“Worryingly Surrey has a lower uptake of childhood immunisations than other areas so it’s really important parents understand what’s available and how to get their children protected.”
Only 70 per cent of Surrey children had both doses of the MMR vaccine by their fifth birthday which meant three in 10 were at risk of catching measles.
Dr Lambley said: “It’s a myth that measles is just a run-of-the-mill, relatively mild illness that’s easily treated.
“What people don’t realise is that it can be very serious and even fatal. That’s why it’s so important we prevent children from catching it.”
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