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Home Industry News England to end rubella susceptibility screening in pregnancy

England to end rubella susceptibility screening in pregnancy

27th January 2016

Public Health England has confirmed plans to bring an imminent end to rubella susceptibility screening for pregnant women.

Following a review of evidence by the UK National Screening Committee in 2003 and 2012, the decision has been taken to phase out screening for the disease from April 1st 2016, as the measure is no longer needed.

It was deemed that levels of infection for rubella – also known as German measles – are so low as to be defined as eliminated by the World Health Organization, with rubella infection in pregnancy now extremely rare.

Moreover, it is recognised that the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine is now the most effective means of protecting against rubella in pregnancy, and that the screening test can potentially give inaccurate results and cause unnecessary stress.

Dr Anne Mackie, director of screening programmes at Public Health England, said: "The best preventative measure a woman can take to protect herself from rubella is to ensure she is immunised with the MMR vaccine before she gets pregnant."

Around 91.5 percent of children aged up to two years receive at least one MMR vaccination, rising to 94.5 percent by the time they reach the age of five.ADNFCR-8000103-ID-801811175-ADNFCR

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