oral vaccine

The UK’s immunisation schedule will be expanded to include three new vaccination programmes to protect children and adults against flu, shingles and diarrhoea.

From July, children aged under four months will be vaccinated against rotavirus in a bid halve the number of cases of diarrhoea and vomiting, and reduce hospital stays by 70%.

It is estimated that the highly infectious virus causes around 140,000 cases of diarrhoea a year in under fives.

In September, all children aged two – around 650,000 in total – will be offered a nasal flu vaccine.

A number of pilot schemes will also run to test the National Health Service’s capability in vaccinating pre-school and primary school children from next year, followed by secondary school students in 2015.

Elsewhere, people in their 70s will be eligible to receive a shingles vaccine from September.

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By GlobalData

It is hoped that the programme will prevent nearly 40% of the 30,000 cases of shingles seen every year in this age group.

Department of Health irector of Immunisation Professor David Salisbury said; "By offering new vaccines to two groups at the opposite end of the age scale, we can protect our most vulnerable against potentially harmful diseases."

The government-led immunisation programme will introduce a new teenage booster jab to protect against meningitis C.

The booster will be given to children aged 12 to 13 and replace the jab currently given at four months old, as evidence shows the four month booster is no longer required.

Image: Children under four months will receive an oral vaccine to protect them against rotavirus from July. Photo: Courtesy of the World Bank Photo Collection.