CHILDHOOD vaccine rates are at their lowest for a decade, NHS figures show.

Health chiefs warn historic diseases like measles, mumps and polio could bounce back in the UK.

Britain now falls well short of the 95 per cent coverage needed for herd immunity from the deadly bugs.

Dr Vanessa Saliba, from the UK Health Security Agency, said drops in jab coverage are “extremely worrying” and urged parents to bring their kids forward.

Uptake of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine dropped to 89.2 per cent last year – the lowest since 2011.

For the six-in-one jab, which tackles polio and tetanus, coverage was the lowest since 2008 at 91.8 per cent.

Cases of polio have already sprung up in London as the immunity rate falls.

The number of children jabbed fell across 13 out of 14 vital immunisations offered on the NHS.

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Dr Saliba said: “Measles is highly contagious and can be dangerous, and it is extremely worrying that we are seeing levels of vaccine uptake falling among young children.

“It is also vitally important that children get their polio vaccinations to help prevent the risk of paralysis.

“I urge parents to check that all children are up to date with their vaccines, and if not to get them booked in as soon as possible to make sure they have maximum protection against what can be terrible diseases.

“By taking up all vaccinations for our children, we help prevent outbreaks and play our part in keeping these diseases confined to the past.”

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The World Health Organization says medics should aim to vaccinate at least 95 per cent of the population to create herd immunity.

Most childhood jabs are given out before the age of five and are offered at GP surgeries.

They cover rare but serious diseases including measles, mumps, rubella, polio, tetanus, diphtheria, rotavirus, meningitis, pneumonia, hepatitis B and whooping cough.

NHS disruption during the Covid pandemic caused a drop in jab appointments but uptake has been falling for years.

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Former health secretary Matt Hancock said anti-vaxx rumours spread online had dented uptake, with claims jabs don't work described as "superstitious mumbo jumbo" by Boris Johnson.

Some parents have also become complacent because vaccination worked so well in the past that the illnesses are not considered a threat.

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