THE percentage of young children in Bradford who have had the MMR vaccine is continuing to fall - Councillors have been told.

At a meeting of Bradford Council's Health and Social Care Scrutiny Committee last week, members heard that the take up of the MMR jab was among a number of public health indicators where Bradford was "significantly worse" than where it needed to be.

Just under 90 per cent of children under the age of two had the jab - down from 94.6 per cent in 2013/14.

Duncan Cooper, a public health consultant, told the Council that the low rate made measles outbreaks more likely, as it had a high R number.

Mr Cooper said: "The 90 per cent figure is below the 95 per cent rate we need for herd immunity.

Measles outbreak in Bradford continues as number of cases rises above 70

"Leeds has seen some really big measles outbreaks in recent years, so we need to get the MMR rated back up to 95 per cent.

"We've heard how we have to get the R level down to below 1 to reduce the spread of Covid.

"By comparison, the R level for measles is 14. That means if one person has it they one average will pass it on to 14 other children."

Mr Cooper said: "We haven't really recovered from the Andrew Wakefield scandal."

Andrew Wakefield is a former physician who, in 1998, published a paper that falsely claimed the MMR vaccine was linked to autism.

He was struck of the medical register after his claims were widely discredited, but his paper and subsequent press appearances have been linked to a drop off in the number of parents getting their children vaccinated.