– in the Scottish Parliament on 25th April 2019.

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Photo of Gil Paterson Gil Paterson Scottish National Party

I am sure that the First Minister is aware of the UNICEF report that has just been published, which suggests that a large number of children are not being immunised against measles in the United Kingdom. Is the Scottish Government considering that? Is that having any impact in Scotland and, if so, what action is being taken?

Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party

The statistics that have been published today by UNICEF are taken from the World Health Organization analysis of measles and rubella data at a UK level. I am pleased to see that childhood immunisation rates across Scotland remain very high. That reflects both the hardworking commitment of our colleagues in the national health service and a recognition of the benefits of vaccination.

It is worth noting that uptake of the first dose of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine in children up to age five is 96.6 per cent. That continues to exceed the 95 per cent target. However, Gil Paterson is absolutely right to raise this important issue. We are not complacent, and I want to assure Parliament that we will continue to make every effort to promote and encourage childhood vaccinations.