A Hampton councillor has called for action after revealing that the number of children being vaccinated against measles in the borough is 14 per cent below the national average.

Cllr Geoffrey Samuel raised his concerns during Tuesday’s council meeting and also urged the council to use part of its Public Health Budget to run vaccination sessions and called for a consultation with schools to raise awareness.

In a statement Cllr Samuel said: “The take-up of the full measles vaccine is a worrying 73 per cent whilst the national average is 87 per cent and 95 per cent is needed to eliminate the disease.

“This is no time for complacency. Resolute action is needed.

“The Council has the money. This is a Public Health crisis."

He called for the council to back a campaign involving schools in the area to promote vaccinations.

Measles is a highly infectious disease and starts with cold-like symptoms that develop ten days after a person becomes infected.

Symptoms such as the Measles rash can occur after the ten-day infected period.

It is a serious virus that can be life threatening and could lead to ear and chest infections, fits, diarrhoea and damage to the brain.

A spokesperson for Richmond Council said: “Whilst the MMR vaccination rates in Richmond for both doses are lower than the rate for London and England, the rates have increased by 5.9 per cent since 2016 and 2017.

"It is hoped that a continued collaborative approach by partners [NHS England, Richmond Clinical Commissioning Group, Achieving for Children and the Council] will ensure further improvements over the next year.

“The MMR vaccination rate for the first MMR dose is 87 per cent in 2018 and 2019 in Richmond but is higher than London (83 per cent) but lower than England (90.3 per cent) rates.”

The Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine is given through two doses at one years old and again at three and a half years old.

Children, however, often reportedly miss the second dose, which means that they will not be fully immunised against Measles and may be at risk.

The spokesperson continued: “It is a priority for the Council and partners to educate and inform families about the importance of ensuring children are vaccinated against measles.

“We are sending regular messages to families via schools and GP practices outlining the importance of the vaccine.

“GP practices receive weekly notifications of children who are due, missing or overdue an MMR vaccine.

“Together we are working hard to encourage parents and carers to ensure that their children are fully vaccinated. Please see your GP if you are in any doubt as to whether you or your child are up to date with all your vaccinations – not just the MMR vaccination.”

For more information visit: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/mmr-vaccine/