- Coverage decreased in 13 out of the 14 routine vaccination measures in 2021-22
- No vaccinations met the 95% target set by the World Health Organization (WHO)
NHS Digital’s Childhood Vaccination Coverage Statistics contains information on the routine vaccinations offered to all children up to the age of 5 years, derived from the Cover of vaccination evaluated rapidly (COVER) programme.
This report, which is co-authored with the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), includes information on 14 measures of vaccination coverage. At a national level, coverage has decreased for 13 of these.
The only vaccination where coverage has increased is Pneumococcal Disease (PCV) primary, but this is a comparison with 2019-20’s figures, as 2020-21 data is not available.
Disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, beginning in March 2020, is likely to have caused some of the decreases in vaccine coverage seen in 2020-21 and 2021-22, compared to earlier years.
Chris Roebuck, NHS Digital’s Chief Statistician, said: “We publish these statistics to help inform the development and evaluation of government policy on immunisation.
“The annual report is also used to assess the effectiveness of the vaccine programme at a local, regional and national level.”
In 2021-22, 89.2% of children at 24 months had completed their first dose of the MMR vaccine, which is a decrease from 90.3% in 2020-21. The World Health Organization (WHO) target is 95%.
Regional data5 shows seven of the nine regions reached 90% coverage. No region exceeded the 95% target. The North East had the highest level of coverage at 94.5% (down from 95.3% the previous year). London had the lowest level of coverage in 2021-22 at 79.9% (down from 82.4% in 2020-21).
In 2021-22, 16 local authorities out of 149 had coverage levels of 95% and above. Coverage of less than 90% was reported for 61 local authorities including all London authorities.
In 2021-22, 85.7% of children received their 2nd dose of MMR vaccine (MMR2) by their 5th birthday, a decrease from 86.6% in the previous year.
6-in-1 and 5-in-1 vaccines
Coverage for the 6-in-1/5-in-1 vaccine, which protects against diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio, disease caused by Haemophilus influenzae type b and hepatitis B, decreased among children aged 12 months, 24 months and five years.
In 2021-22, 91.8% of children were reported to have completed their primary course of 3 doses of the 6-in-1 at 12 months. This is a decrease from 2020-21 when coverage was 92.0%.
In 2021-22, 8 out of 9 regions reached 90% coverage for the 6-in-1 vaccine. The North East was the only region to exceed the national target of 95% and London had the lowest coverage at 86.5%.
Among children aged 24 months, coverage of the 6-in-1 vaccine fell from 93.8% in 2020-21 to 93.0% in 2021-22.
For children aged five years, coverage for the 5-in-1 vaccine was 94.4% in 2021-22. This is lower than the 95.2% coverage reported in 2020-21.
From 2019-20, for the 12-month cohort, coverage is evaluated against the 6-in-1 hexavalent vaccine.
From 2020-21, for the 24-month cohort, coverage is evaluated against the 6-in-1 hexavalent vaccine. Other measures reflect coverage for the 5-in-1 pentavalent vaccine (DTAP/IPV/Hib).
** Since January 2020, PCV primary course (at 12 months) changed to a single vaccination at age 12 weeks. Prior to that it was 2 doses at ages 8 and 16 weeks.