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New guidance outlines nurses' role in tackling falling child vaccination rates

Role nurses can play in tackling falling child vaccination rates in England has been outlined in National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidance.
Child vaccination

Role nurses can play in tackling falling child vaccination rates in England has been outlined in National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidance

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has warned that millions of children are unprotected against potentially lethal diseases as child vaccination rates in England have been falling for the past 2 years.

In some areas of the country, fewer than one in ten children were vaccinated against diseases such as polio and diphtheria in 2014-15, according to NHS Digital statistics.

Unless uptake rates improve there is a risk of these diseases making a comeback, NICE said.

Last year only one quarter of local authorities met World Health Organization targets to vaccinate 95% of children against measles, mumps and rubella, NICE added.

Draft quality standard

NICE has now published a new draft quality standard which

Role nurses can play in tackling falling child vaccination rates in England has been outlined in National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidance

Child vaccination

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has warned that millions of children are unprotected against potentially lethal diseases as child vaccination rates in England have been falling for the past 2 years.

In some areas of the country, fewer than one in ten children were vaccinated against diseases such as polio and diphtheria in 2014-15, according to NHS Digital statistics.

Unless uptake rates improve there is a risk of these diseases making a comeback, NICE said.

Last year only one quarter of local authorities met World Health Organization targets to vaccinate 95% of children against measles, mumps and rubella, NICE added.

Draft quality standard

NICE has now published a new draft quality standard which sets out how to drive up the number of under 19s who receive vaccinations.

The quality standard includes five statements that set out priorities to reverse the decline. They are:

  1. Parents or carers of children who miss immunisation appointments should be followed up by telephone or with a text as this makes them more likely to rebook.
  2. Children and young people receiving a vaccination have it recorded in their GP record, their personal child health record and in the child health information system. 
  3. Health visitors and nurses may be able to check if children had missed vaccinations during their usual reviews at the start school or college.​
  4. Young offenders entering prison, or any other secure setting, should have their records checked for missed vaccinations.
  5. Children and young people are offered vaccination as soon as it is known that they have missed a routine childhood vaccination.
Consultation

RCN professional lead for children and young people’s nursing Fiona Smith welcomed the quality standard.

She said: ‘Health visitors and school nurses need to be readily accessible to provide information and advice to parents making decisions about whether to have their children immunised, but as more posts are cut, many simply haven’t got the time or capacity.’

A consultation on the draft quality standard closes on 29 September, and the final version is expected to be published in January 2017.


NICE consultation on vaccine uptake in under 19s

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