The Chairman of the Health and Social Care Select Committee in the House of Commons has called on the Government to take a recent surge in measles cases seriously.
In September 2017 the UK had declared no indigenous cases of measles for three years, however an 15% decrease in measles, mumps and rubella vaccine uptake has seen a return of the disease.
During a debate in the House of Commons, Steve Brine MP referred back to the UK Health Security Agency's warning in April of 2023 that measles were expected to come back.
Highlighting the committee's vaccination report, published in Summer 2023, the MP praised the Government in answering a recommendation, with NHS England published its vaccination strategy just before Christmas. Steve went on to ask the Minister: "Can the Minister say more about how she will inject more urgency into the roll-out, and will she commit, as we also asked, to a much more flexible delivery model for vaccinations, including through pharmacy?"
Maria Caulfield MP thanked Steve Brine and the Committee's calls, highlighting their work: "That is why we have met with both the west midlands and the London teams to hear from those on the ground what resources they need in order to become more nimble in the vaccine roll-out. The communities that are not coming forward are the ones that are not engaging with the routine MMR vaccine programme, so we need to be more nimble, which is why we are hearing from those vaccinating on the ground about vaccine buses going into communities, pop-up clinics in schools, and GPs putting on extra vaccine clinics. From our data, we have a list of the children who are unvaccinated, and more than a million letters have gone out to their parents to urge them to come forward."
The Minister went on to highlight the Government's Pharmacy First programme which will make it easier for people to come forward for the vaccine.