DOZENS of babies are missing out on potentially life-saving jabs in Blackburn with Darwen, with vaccine uptake remaining below the level the World Health Organisation says is needed for herd immunity.

The WHO recommends at least 95% of newborns should get the six-in-one jab, which protects against six serious infections including polio, whooping cough and diphtheria.

However 87.1% of infants born in Blackburn with Darwen who had their first birthday between January and March have been vaccinated, according to Public Health England data.

This means 62 babies missed out, although it is not recommended for those with allergies to the vaccine.

Immunisation rates have fallen since the previous quarter, when 87.8% of babies were vaccinated.

Across England, vaccination rates stood at 92.7% between January and March 2020.

Dr Doug Brown, the group’s chief executive, said: “We must do better to protect our children. Improving vaccine uptake is a complex issue, but one that we can solve.

“Initiatives such as strengthening the role of immunisation co-ordinators and ensuring services are accessible are strategies that we know work."