Increase in childhood infections prompts vaccine call

We know your child’s health is your top priority and so protecting them from serious disease is incredibly important. That is why the NHS offers a free childhood vaccine programme, safeguarding your child from certain illness. 

Vaccines work by causing the body’s immune system to remember the specific infection targeted in each vaccine. If your child comes into contact with an infection and they have had their vaccines, your child’s body will recognise that infection and quickly respond to fight off diseases like measles, mumps, rubella, whooping cough and more. Because vaccines have been used so successfully in England, they prevent more than 5,000 deaths and more than 100,000 hospital admissions each year.

Sadly, England no longer has the levels of population immunity recommended by the World Health Organisation of 95%, and this has led to increased risk for those who are unvaccinated or under-vaccinated. It means that infections like measles and whooping cough are rising.

Such infections can have a huge impact on your child’s life. They can miss out on school due to time spent unwell, be hospitalised, and even experience life-long complications, disability and in some cases tragically can cause death.

We understand that you may have questions about vaccine safety and effectiveness. All childhood vaccinations offered by the NHS have been used in millions of children and have an excellent safety record. All health authorities worldwide agree that immunisation is the safest way to protect our children’s health.

If you do have any questions, do not hesitate to speak to your GP or health visitor – they will be happy to address any concerns and guide you through the vaccination schedule.

Although it important that vaccines are given on time for the best protection, if you or your child have missed a vaccine, it is never too late to contact your GP to check if you can catch up.

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