UK Introduces Measures to Boost Vaccination Equality

22 September 2009 (Last Updated September 22nd, 2009 18:30)

The UK National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has published guidelines to boost the rate of vaccinations amongst disadvantaged children and young people from different social groups. According to NICE groups of children and young people who are least likely to be i

The UK National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has published guidelines to boost the rate of vaccinations amongst disadvantaged children and young people from different social groups.

According to NICE groups of children and young people who are least likely to be immunised include those with physical or learning disabilities, youngsters from non-English speaking families and younger children from large families.

Young people who missed previous vaccinations and those who look after other children were also among the least likely to be vaccinated.

NICE Public Health Excellence Centre director professor Mike Kelly said that there is still widespread variation in uptake rates in all kinds of vaccines among different social groups.

"The guidance makes recommendations applying to all vaccinations and for babies born to mothers who are hepatitis B-positive specifically," Kelly said.

The recommendations, aimed at those responsible for the immunisation of children and young people, include the adoption of multifaceted, coordinated programmes across groups with low uptake and better information recording.

Healthcare individuals should also monitor any factors that could hinder up-to-date vaccinations and improve access to immunisation services to those with disabilities or language problems.

The development and implementation of a clearer process for the local infant hepatitis B vaccination programme was also identified alongside recommendations to vaccinate babies born to hepatitis B-positive mothers as promptly as possible.