England is a world leader in childhood vaccination, with one of the most comprehensive programmes in the world. Our data show that, although coverage remains high, children’s vaccine uptake has been slowly decreasing since 2012-13, meaning that children have missed out and may remain vulnerable to serious or even fatal infections.
Recently, there has been increased political and media focus on this decline, with the media speculating that anti-vaccine groups and messaging may be having an impact on the programme. The more media and others talk about this issue and the more airtime anti-vaccine groups are given, the more the focus on this as the cause of the decline is seen to be true.
Evidence from PHE’s attitudinal surveys suggests that parental confidence in the national immunisation programme is at an all-time high. There is currently no evidence that anti-vaccine activity has had a major impact on vaccine coverage in England. The main reasons for the decline in coverage are therefore thought to be related to delivery by local primary care providers and accessibility.
The objective of the Values of Vaccines communications campaign is therefore to maintain high parental confidence in vaccines by ensuring positive messaging about vaccination is constant as well as easily available and accessible.
Support from partners will be vital to the success of the campaign. Find out more about getting involved here.
Further information on the campaign’s approach and strategy can also be found here.