THERE has been no new cases of measles during the month of June in Devon and Torbay, health chiefs have said.
This compares favourably with the rest of the country were there were 113 new cases of measles, albeit fewer than in May with 193.
The news follows the nationwide rollout of the national MMR catch-up programme.
Run by Public Health England, NHS England, the Department of Health, and local authorities, the programme aims to prevent measles outbreaks by giving MMR to as many unvaccinated and partially vaccinated 10-16 year-olds as possible.
Professor Debra Lapthorne, centre director for Devon, Cornwall and Somerset said: "While it's too early to say the MMR catch-up campaign is responsible for the declining number of measles cases nationally, we can say definitively that children who have not had the MMR vaccine remain at high risk of catching the disease.
"We are making good progress towards the 95 percent target, but there still remains a number of 10-16 year olds within the Devon, Cornwall and Somerset area, together with some younger children and adults who are under-vaccinated.
"We'd urge parents of children who haven't had the MMR vaccine to contact their GP and get them vaccinated."
Progress in the campaign has been monitored using data on the MMR status of children aged between 10 and 16 years old, gathered from around 2,000 general practices in July 2013.
When compared with children aged nine to 15 years in 2012, the numbers indicate that, assuming progress in those 2000 practices has been replicated nationally, 57,000 unvaccinated children in the target age group have received MMR since last year and a slightly higher number have now completed the two dose course.
The proportion recorded as having received two doses of MMR has also increased by 1.6 per cent (around 19,000 children).
If this progress was replicated nationally this suggests 57,000 unvaccinated children have received MMR since last year and a slightly higher number have now completed the two dose course.
The next phase of the catch-up programme involves each Area Team planning activity appropriate to their area.
These plans will be based on local intelligence around MMR coverage in their communities, with interventions based on an assessment of their likely effectiveness in their locality.
Longer term plans for the elimination of the sustained transmission of measles will involve improving and sustaining the high coverage of MMR for younger children, and also implementing routine catch-up opportunities for older children – for example when changing schools or receiving other teenage booster vaccinations.
This aims to ensure a long lasting legacy for future children and ensure that the catch up programme is not just a short term fix.