There are 5,000 children in the south west who haven't received all of their MMR vaccinations.

The worst MMR coverage in the south west is seen in Bristol where just 86 per cent of children have had their second jab.

As children prepare to start primary school early next month Public Health England wants parents to check their child’s Red Book to ensure their children are up-to-date with scheduled immunisations. Two doses of MMR in a lifetime are needed for a person to be considered fully protected.

Across the country about 30,000 have no protection against measles, mumps and rubella, while 90,000 have had only the first of the two vaccines necessary.

Dr Julie Yates, lead consultant for screening and immunisation for Public Health England South West, said: “It’s a real concern that so many young children in our region could be starting school without the full protection that the NHS childhood immunisation programme offers for free.

"We know that parents want the best protection for their children and so many may be unaware that their child is not up-to-date.

"We’re urging all parents of primary school starters to check their child’s Red Book now to make sure there is a record of two MMR doses and the 4-in-1 booster vaccine.

"If not, parents should contact their GP practice to arrange any further vaccinations that are needed.

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