Vaccines are the most effective way to prevent infectious diseases. As a practice we have a professional, social and ethical responsibility to ensure we promote vaccinations and alleviate doubt.
Vaccinations don’t just protect the people receiving them – vaccination also protects all of us by “eliminating infections from the country.”
In some areas of the country, 1 in 10 children are not vaccinated against diseases such as polio and diphtheria. Experts have warned that unless uptake rates improve there is a risk of these diseases making a comeback.
Were you aware we have had an outbreak of measles, mumps and pertussis recently?
Please see the current UK schedule for giving childhood vaccinations: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/899423/PHE_Complete_Immunisation_Schedule_Jun2020_05.pdf
What are we protecting against?
- Tetanus is a serious but rare condition caused by bacteria getting into a wound. If the bacteria enter the body through a wound, they can quickly multiply and release a toxin that affects the nerves, causing symptoms such as muscle stiffness and spasms.
- Diphtheria is a highly contagious and potentially fatal infection that can affect the nose and throat, and sometimes the skin. It’s rare in the UK, but there’s a small risk of catching it while travelling in some parts of the world.
- Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) is a bacterial infection that can cause a number of serious illnesses, particularly in young children. These infections include blood poisoning, skin infections and meningitis.
- Whooping cough, also called pertussis, is a highly contagious bacterial infection of the lungs.
- Polio is a serious viral infection that used to be common in the UK and worldwide. It’s rare nowadays because it can be prevented with vaccination. For some people, the polio virus causes temporary or permanent paralysis, which can be life threatening. Most people with polio won’t have any symptoms and will fight off the infection without even realising they were infected. A small number of people will experience a flu-like illness 3 to 21 days after they’re infected.
Hepatitis B is a liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). Hepatitis B is spread when blood, seman or other body fluids from a person infected with the virus enters the body of someone who is not infected.
- In children it can cause serious liver damage.
- Chronic Hepatitis B affects: 90% of babies and 20% in older children.
- Hepatitis B can be spread from a mother to her newborn baby. If the baby is at risk, they will be given an extra hepatitis B vaccine at birth. They will also have heel-prick test at 1 year to check for any trace of the virus.
Meningitis B this is one type of the meningococcal disease. This is caused by the bacteria Neisseria meningitidis. Meningitis can attack the brain and spinal cord and cause swelling in those areas as well as a serious infection of the bloodstream, called septicemia.
- Approximately 10 – 15% of people infected with Meningococcal disease will die, sometimes as quickly as 24 hours after symptoms appear. For those who survive, about 1 in 5 may experience a variety of long-term disabilities including hearing loss, brain damage and nervous system problems, kidney damage, loss of limbs and skin scarring.
- Rotavirus is a highly infectious stomach bug that typically strikes babies and young children, causing an unpleasant bout of diarrhoea, sometimes with vomiting, tummy acheand fever.
- Measles is a highly infectious viral illness that can be unpleasant and can sometimes lead to serious complications.
- 1 in 20 children with measles gets pneumonia and is the most common cause of death from measles in young children.
- 1 in 1,000 children with measles will develop encephalitis (swelling of the brain) that can lead to convulsions and can leave the child deaf or with intellectual disability.
- Nearly 1-3 of every 1,000 children who become infected with measles with die from respiratory and neurological complications.
- Mumps is a contagious viral infection that used to be common in children before the introduction of the MMR vaccine. Mumps usually passes without causing serious damage to a person’s health. Serious complications are rare. But mumps can lead to viral meningitis if the virus moves into the outer layer of the brain. Other complications include swelling of the testicles or ovaries (if the affected person has gone through puberty).
- Rubella (German Measles) is a rare illness that causes a spotty rash. It usually gets better in about 1 week. It can be serious if you get it when you’re pregnant. Rubella is very rare in pregnancy. But if you get it when you’re pregnant, rubella could harm your baby. It can cause:
- loss of the baby (miscarriage)
- serious problems after the baby is born – such as problems with their sight, hearing, heart or brain
- The risk is highest if you get rubella early in pregnancy.
- There’s not thought to be a risk to your baby if you get rubella after week 20 of your pregnancy.
School aged vaccinations
These are the vaccinations that are given you your children at school.
- From flu in reception to year 7,
- HPV (year 8).This vaccination protects the young person against cancers caused by the Human Papilloma virus (HPV). HPV is sexually transmitted but full intercourse is not required to transmit – can be transmitted on hands and orally. Condoms do not prevent infections
- MenACWY (Year 9). Cases of meningitisand septicaemia due to Men W have been increasing in England, from 22 cases in 2009/10 to 210 in 2015/16.
- The increase is almost entirely due to the aggressive Men W strain. Although this is rare, it can spread rapidly and cause serious illness in otherwise-healthy children and adults.
- With early diagnosis and antibiotic treatment, most people with meningococcal disease make a full recovery. But 1 in 3 teenagers with Men W have died as a result of the disease.
- Those who recover can be left with serious long-term health problems, such as amputation, deafness, blindness, epilepsyand learning difficulties.
- Men W infections are more likely to be fatal than the more common Men B strain
- Dip/Tet/polio (Year 10) and MMR catch up
They are delivered by Children’s Universal Service currently – they have a team of nurses who go out to schools and run clinics to immunise this cohort of school age children, including those home schooled. You will receive a form to complete asking permission for the children to have the vaccinations.
Please call to call to arrange a clinic appointment if you have missed the vaccination at school: 01234 310408
Also see Travel Vaccination