HEALTH services should adopt alternative vaccination services to GP surgeries or schools in order to address low levels of immunisation among children, a report has said. Croydon falls below the average for London and England in a number of areas, including MMR and boosters. Poorly reported data collected by GP practices is part of the problem said a report due to be put before the council's Health, Social Care and Housing Scrutiny sub-committee on Tuesday. In recent years London as a whole has delivered significantly poorer vaccine uptake than the remainder of the country, due in part to pressure on health centres by rising birth rates and the capital's high population mobility. Like a number of other boroughs, Croydon has not achieved the target of 95 per cent immunisation. Since April 2009 the borough has been consistently lower than both London and England averages for primary vaccinations for one-year-olds. It is also lower for boosters (PCV and flu/meningitis) at two years of age and for the first MMR vaccine. Only 83.7 per cent of children aged two received an MMR vaccine in the first quarter of 2013/14. This was not mirrored by an equivalent number of measles, mumps and rubella cases in Croydon, so may have been due to inaccuracy in the way the data is recorded, rather than poor immunisation uptake, the report added. It said health services would move toward an automated system for uploading data would address difficulties in collecting information on immunisation from GP practices. The report added: "Croydon would also benefit from having an alternative vaccination service that complemented the existing GP practice and community health service delivered immunisations and target specific communities known for low uptake."
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