A GP reminded parents of the importance of immunisation after data revealed the borough is behind targets in terms of the uptake of the MMR vaccine.

In Trafford, around 90 per cent of children under the age of five are protected against measles, mumps and rubella by two doses of the MMR vaccine.

This is higher than the figure for Greater Manchester, 84.8 per cent, and the figure for the North West, 86.4 per cent, but around five per cent behind the targets set by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to achieve the elimination of measles in particular.

And worryingly, the percentage of children under the age of five protected by two doses is decreasing rather than increasing, according to GM Integrated Care Partnership.

On Monday, at the start of Immunisation Week, Greater Manchester's clinical director for population health Helen Wall reminded parents of the importance of immunisation.

Dr Wall, who is also a GP, said: "It is worrying to see a decline in the number of children getting their vaccinations. With even small drops in the number of people coming forward for vaccinations, it is possible for infectious diseases to spread again. Indeed, we have had a confirmed case of measles in Greater Manchester earlier this month. 

"We want to take this opportunity to remind parents vaccination is the most important thing we can do to protect ourselves, our children and those around us against ill health. If you think your child has missed a vaccination, please contact your GP to catch up."

Children are offered a first dose of the MMR after their first birthday and a second dose of the MMR after their third birthday.

Dr Wall stressed there is no need to be concerned about the vaccine and its side effects.

She said: "I understand parents may hesitate to get their child vaccinated because they worry about the safety of the vaccine. I want to reassure those parents, that all vaccines are thoroughly tested to make sure that they will not harm you or your child.

"Children may experience mild side effects such as the area where the needle goes in being sore or being a bit unwell for a couple of days, however, this far outweighs the risk of these, sometimes life-threatening, illnesses."

Parents can check their children's vaccinations by checking their children's Personal Child Health Record or contacting their GP.

This article was written by Jack Tooth. To contact him, email jack.tooth@newsquest.co.uk or follow @JTRTooth on Twitter.