Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

?1.8M Vaccine Fund to Fight Measles 'Epidemic'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

?1.8M Vaccine Fund to Fight Measles 'Epidemic'

Article excerpt


HEALTH bosses have launched an urgent measles vaccination campaign as the deadly disease sweeps London.

Ministers have set up a ?1.8 million immunisation fund amid fears an epidemic could rage out of control.

They are calling on all parents to take their children for the measles, mumps and rubella jab MMR after immunisation levels fell to a dangerous low.

Scores are falling ill across the capital, which accounts for 70 per cent of all measles cases nationwide.

In the first five months of this year there were 257 measles cases, compared with 167 in the whole of last year. Lewisham and Hackney are worst hit.

Today ministers announced that each Primary Care Trust in the capital will be given ?60,000 to spend on vaccinating every child under the age of 18. PCTs in the rest of the country will be given just ?30,000.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Health said London was getting the extra cash boost because it was lagging so far behind the rest of the country.

Chief medical officer Sir Liam Donaldson will write to all PCTs in the country today urging them to take part in the MMR catch-up programme.

His letter said: "Following a decade of relatively low vaccine uptake there is now a large number of children who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated with MMR. …

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