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According to global health leaders, measles has been “eliminated” in the UK and rubella is on the way out also.

 

A country can be declared free of a disease such as measles or rubella, once it has sustained “interruption of endemic transmission” for at least 36 months, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

 

As of 2016, the UK met this standard, along with 32 other countries in the WHO European area. In Ireland, the elimination status currently stands at "interrupted" but rubella has been eliminated.

 

Dr Mary Ramsay, head of immunisation at Public Health England told The Mail Online: “We are delighted that the WHO has confirmed that the UK achieved measles elimination in 2016 and that rubella elimination continues to be sustained”.

 

“In addition, national vaccine coverage of the first MMR dose in five-year-olds has hit the WHO 95 percent target”.

 

 

Although this is a significant achievement, she stressed that it was important not to become complacent about the risks of measles.

 

“This is a huge achievement and a testament to all the hard work by our health professionals in the NHS to ensure that all children and adults are fully protected with two doses of the MMR vaccine.

 

”We need to ensure that this is sustained going forward by maintaining and improving coverage of the MMR vaccine in children and by catching up older children and young adults who missed out”.

 

Recently France introduced mandatory childhood vaccinations after an outbreak of measles earlier this year.

 

French Prime Minister, Edouard Philippe announced that a mandatory vaccination schedule will be introduced in 2018.

 

 

All French children will now receive 11 vaccinations as part of the new schedule.

 

Three vaccinations were already mandatory,  all French children must be immunised against diphtheria, polio and tetanus.

 

From 2018, the new law will make immunisations against pertussis, (whooping cough), measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis B, haemophilus influenzae bacteria, pneumococcus, and meningococcus C mandatory as well.

 

Announcing the plan, Prime Minister Philippe said: "Children are still dying of measles. In the homeland of Pasteur, that is not admissible”.

 

 

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