NHS Digital has today (22 September 2016) released the annual report on NHS Immunisation Statistics, England, 2015-16. In response, the British Society for Immunology has released the following statement.
Professor Peter Openshaw, President of the British Society for Immunology, said:
“The news today that overall vaccination rates in England have again decreased is extremely worrying. Vaccines are amongst the simplest and most cost effective public health measures that we have and continue to save countless lives.
“The UK has a proud history of developing and delivering vaccines to those who need them. The decline in routine childhood vaccination in children is especially worrying, with some areas of the UK falling well below the minimum standards recommended by the World Health Organization. We are behind many countries in our vaccine uptake, exposing our children to risks of potentially harmful and even fatal diseases. We are especially endangering those within our communities who are vulnerable because of health problems (for example, those with compromised immune systems, elderly people and cancer patients). In those cases, they may only be protected by healthy people being vaccinated for the public good.
“It is crucial that local authorities and the NHS take joint action to reverse this trend. There needs to be sufficient funding and skills to be able to both communicate the benefits of vaccination and to deliver vaccines efficiently and effectively to the people who need them. We all need to work together and to learn the lessons from those who are performing well.
“Vaccination saves lives. It’s up to the Government to put schemes in place to ensure that vaccine rates increase in order to stop the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases.”
You can read the full NHS Digital report on England vaccinations statistics 2015-16 at http://www.digital.nhs.uk/catalogue/PUB21651
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