Childhood Immunisations during COVID-19
During the COVID-19 pandemic it is vital that children continue to receive immunisations. Please help us to ensure this happens. What’s the current situation with childhood immunisations? The London Immunisation Team and Public Health England have recommended that all immunisations provided by general practice, pharmacy, maternity and BCG providers should continue on schedule. Communicable diseases are still in circulation and we need to continue to protect people against them. Key priorities are ensuring that pre-school immunisations are given, and that maternal pertussis and BCG programmes continue.
This is in accordance with the latest statement from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation:
All routine pre-school immunisations offered to babies and infants including immunisations due at one year of age including the first MMR dose.
All doses of targeted hepatitis B immunisations for at-risk infants should also be offered in a timely manner.
Pertussis vaccination in pregnancy.
Pneumococcal vaccination for those in risk groups from 2 to 64 years of age and those aged 65 years and over (subject to supplies of PPV23 and clinical prioritisation).
What’s happening in GP surgeries?
All local GP surgeries are operating a ‘hot’ (for patients with symptoms of COVID-19) and ‘cold’ (for patients without symptoms of COVID-19) practice model which ensures children and vulnerable people will be protected. When the parent or patient phones up to make an appointment they will be directed to which practice they should attend for their immunisation. This may be at a different location than their usual practice. Practices should write to patients when they are due for their immunisation, but if a parent feels their child is overdue an immunisation then they should be advised to contact their practice to discuss.
What are the key messages for parents?
Routine pre-school immunisations are continuing throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. Vaccines are important in protecting children and vulnerable people from life-threatening infections.
If you think your child may be due pre-school immunisations but you have not been contacted by your GP, please contact your practice to book an appointment.
As long as neither you nor your child is showing any symptoms of COVID-19 and are not in a period of self-isolation, they should have their routine vaccinations if these are due.
Practices have put measures in place to ensure you can safely access the healthcare and support you need during COVID-19. Please note you may have to go to a different GP clinic to receive your immunisation.
School aged immunisations are not being given for the time being.
If you are more than 15 weeks pregnant you are eligible for a pertussis immunisation.
It is really important for you to get in contact your GP if you are worried about your or your child’s health.