VACCINATION numbers for children to beat measles in Wiltshire are below standards across the South West.

Currently 95.1 per cent, or 5,582 children aged five, have been given the MMR jab at least once by the time they have reached their first birthday, and 89.1 per cent had a second jab aged three-years-old.

Swindon (96 per cent), Bath and North East Somerset (96.1 per cent) and Gloucestershire (95.6 per cent) reported higher figures than Wiltshire for vaccinating children.

However the figure is above England averages.

Around 5,000 children have not yet been fully immunised in the South West.

The World Health Organisation recently confirmed that measles is no longer eliminated in England.

Dr Julie Yates, lead consultant for screening and immunisation for Public Health England South West, wants all parents to check that their child is fully vaccinated.

She said: “It’s crucial that children have maximum protection as they begin to mix with other children at the start of their school journey.”

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that causes a red rash and high fever.

One in 20 children with measles go on to develop pneumonia, which can be fatal, and the disease can leave youngsters with lasting hearing and eyesight problems.

In response, Tracy Daszkiewicz, Wiltshire Council director of public health, said: “We cannot stress the importance of vaccinations strongly enough, particularly for such devastating diseases which can be prevented. I would encourage all parents and carers in Wiltshire to make sure their children are protected.”