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Annual Report of the Director of Public Health

The 2024 Annual Director of Public Health Report is titled Moving the Mountain: Navigating Challenges in Childhood Vaccination.

The report is themed around childhood immunisations with a focus on the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) and the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccination programmes.

Over the past decade, rates of childhood vaccination have fallen in London and England, leaving increasing numbers of children susceptible to diseases that are preventable. This has created a mounting public health challenge, for which the consequences are beginning to show.

In January 2024, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) declared a national incident following a rapid increase in measles cases in England. This is a timely report given the recent rise in measles cases in England, at a time when London has the lowest childhood vaccination rates in the country.  

In Richmond upon Thames, approximately 1 in 4 children born between April 2008 and March 2018 are unprotected or insufficiently protected against MMR. This report aims to understand the reasons for the decline in childhood vaccine uptake in Richmond, the potential impact of this on the health of children and to propose solutions to improve uptake.

The local story is told by those closest to childhood vaccination programmes in the borough, including residents, GPs, and vaccine delivery partners. Their views and perspectives have been paramount to informing how to move the mountain of childhood immunisations in Richmond upon Thames.

This report reaffirms the vital importance of vaccinating children and provides evidence-based solutions on how the local health system can work collaboratively to improve levels of protection in the borough.

Previous reports

Previous versions of the Annual Director of Public Health Report are available to read:

Updated: 05 April 2024

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