New data published by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has highlighted measles vaccination gaps in Europe.
The latest ECDC surveillance report on measles and rubella shows between 1 January 2017 and 31 December 2017, a total of 14,600 cases of measles were reported by EU/EEA countries. The figure is more than triple the number reported in 2016. Within the broader European region the number of measles cases quadrupled from 2016 to 2017, the report shows. Adults aged 20 years and older and children aged less than five years were the most affected.
According to the report, vaccination status was known for 13,753 cases and of these, 87 per cent were unvaccinated. The proportion of those unvaccinated ranged from 72 per cent in 25‒29 year-olds, to 96 per cent in children aged less than 1 year, who are too young to receive the vaccination.
Meanwhile, the report also showed a significant decrease in rubella cases in the EU last year. In 2017, 11 EU/EEA countries reported 696 rubella cases, down from 1,264 in 2016 and 2,161 cases reported in 2015. Seventeen countries reported zero rubella cases in 2017.