Public Health England (PHE) routinely monitors coverage for the national immunisation programme, including the Measles Mumps Rubella (MMR) vaccine on a quarterly and annual basis. PHE also conducts routine measles surveillance publishing data on laboratory confirmed cases on a quarterly and annual basis.
In 2017, the total number of laboratory confirmed measles cases in England was 274. From 1 January to 18 June 2018, there have been 643 lab confirmed cases, with London (225), the South East (137), West Midlands (82), South West (79), and Yorkshire and Humberside (74) reporting the most cases. The increase in cases is associated with importations from outbreaks in Europe that have led to some limited spread in the population, particularly in young people and adults who missed out on MMR vaccine when they were younger.
Annual national statistics from 2016/17 show that coverage for the first dose of MMR vaccine in five year olds reached the World Health Organization target of 95% for the first time. This continues an improving coverage trend which has seen figures improve year on year since 2006-07.
Coverage for MMR vaccine in England for children reaching their second birthday fell to 91.6% in 2016-17 compared to 91.9% in 2015-16. This is the third consecutive year that MMR coverage has been decreasing. PHE is working closely with the National Health Service and with staff in general practice where most vaccinations are delivered, to improve uptake for the routine childhood immunisation programme.