THE percentage of children receiving the measles, mumps and rubella jab has dropped below targets.

More than a tenth of five-year-olds in Bolton have not been vaccinated with the second dose of the jab, according to the latest Public Health England data.

This has contributed to the UK losing its "measles-free" status with the World Health Organisation as the current rate dropped to 87.2 per cent nationally, three years after the virus was eliminated in the country.

The Prime Minister has ordered urgent action to boost the number of children and young people receiving the vaccinations following a rise in cases of measles.

Boris Johnson has called for health leaders to renew their efforts to ensure 95% of the population have had both doses of the MMR vaccine.

NHS England will write to all GPs urging them to promote "catch-up" vaccination programmes, and will seek to strengthen the role of local immunisation co-ordinators in a bid to improve uptake.

There were 39 confirmed cases of measles in the North West in the first quarter of the year, the highest number in England outside of London. The majority of these cases involved children under 14 years old.