FIgure 1 Children vaccinated against MMR by second birthday
NHS data shows the proportion of two year olds immunised against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) fell for the fourth year in a row in 2017-18.
NHS data shows the proportion of two year olds immunised against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) fell for the fourth year in a row in 2017-18. Just over nine in 10 (91.2%) of two year olds had had the MMR in 2017-18, down from 92.3% in 2012-13.
A regional breakdown showed London had the lowest proportion of children vaccinated for MMR, with 85.14% coverage by age two, while the North East of England scored highest with 94.53%.
The number of children receiving the five in one vaccine (DTaP/IPV/Hib) also fell to 95.1% of children, the lowest rate since 2008.
Merit goods are the goods that bring benefits to the society and are underconsumed by the consumers. Vaccines work by making people produce antibodies to fight against certain diseases without directly infecting with it. According to NHS data, child vaccination numbers fall in England as the proportion of two-year old children vaccinated for MMR reduces to 85.14% and the numer of children getting the five in one vaccine falls to 95.1%. Therefore, vaccines are considered as a merit good in this case.
According the BBC news, the reaons why people are not getting their children vaccined are not clarified yet. Therefore, measures to solve this problem are not published yet. However, understanding the causes is really important, since it can cause the potential loss in welfare for England as the vaccination is underconsumed.
When vaccination is underconsumed, the marginal private benefit is less than the marginal social benefit. Therefore the quantity of the actual market outcome is less than the optimum level. It causes a potential welfare loss as the merit good is not consumed at its optimum level. Thus, the society will not enjoy the benefits from merit goods.
In conclusion, England government should understand the causes for the fall in vaccination number as soon as possible and publish certain measure to solve the problem, and thus, have the potential welfare gain for the society.