Scores of babies in Wiltshire miss vital vaccination

Scores of babies in Wiltshire miss vital vaccination

Published by Mike Draper at 4:01am 14th July 2019.

The number of infants not having a jab designed to protect them from a host of potentially deadly diseases, has been revealed.

Almost 100 babies failed to get the so-called six-in-one jab, which protects against six serious childhood diseases, in the first few months of their lives, including:

  • Polio
  • Whooping cough
  • Diphtheria

BABIES NOT PROTECTED AGAINST KILLER DISEASES

But new Public Health England data shows that 99 infants, who had their first birthday in the six months to March, did not have this vaccination.

The majority (95.8%) of babies in Wiltshire did get the jab, which is just above the 95% vaccination rate recommended by the World Health Organisation to prevent outbreaks.

Across England, the vaccination rate for the jab was 92%.

DOWNLOAD: A BITESIZED GUIDE TO VACCINATIONS

Download the guide to childhood immunisations here from the British Society For Immunology
Download your guide to childhood immunisations here from the British Society For Immunology

Professor Arne Akbar, president of the British Society for Immunology, described the low rate as "concerning":

"Lower vaccination rates mean that these diseases can potentially spread within our communities, with unvaccinated babies and individuals with compromised immune systems particularly at risk."

Professor Akbar said the Government should work with the NHS and councils to ensure vaccination services are accessible and that reliable information is available:

"Vaccination saves lives and is one of the safest and most effective methods we have to prevent disease. We owe it to our children to make sure we do all we can to provide them with that protection."

HOW DO VACCINES WORK?

MORE ABOUT VACCINATING INFANTS

  • Babies should have three rounds of the six-in-one vaccination at eight, 12 and 16 weeks of age.
  • It helps them develop a strong immunity to diphtheria, hepatitis B, haemophilus influenza type b, polio, tetanus and whopping cough

DECLINE IN TAKE-UP FOR CHILDHOOD JAB

Jessica Morris, a research analyst at health think tank the Nuffield Trust, said the percentage of babies receiving the jab by their first birthday had fallen for six consecutive years in England:

"This is a concerning trend that I hope will be reversed to ensure that children in England get the best start in life."

PARENTS REMINDED TO TAKE THEIR CHILDREN TO THE GP

Dr Mary Ramsay, head of immunisation at PHE, said:

"Vaccination is essential to protect children from killer diseases."

"When it comes to vaccines, evidence suggests that parents trust the advice of healthcare professionals but the timing and availability of appointments can sometimes make it difficult for busy families to get their children vaccinated."

"We have a fantastic NHS vaccination programme but more can be done to achieve the best possible protection for everyone. Sending out reminders and making GP appointments as convenient as possible will make the biggest difference."

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