Booster vaccinations which protect young children and teenagers from potentially serious diseases are being highlighted as part of Sussex Immunisation Week, which starts 10 October.
The teenage booster provides protection against tetanus, diphtheria and polio while the pre-school booster protects against these illnesses and whooping cough as well. Both boosters provide a vital immunity top-up, even if children and young people had vaccinations as babies.
Children having the pre-school booster are also offered the MMR (measles mumps and rubella) immunisation at the same time. There have been cases of measles and mumps in Sussex this year and last, with some cases leading to serious health complications which needed hospital treatment.
Latest validated figures for 2010-11 show the percentage of children having the pre-school booster across Sussex by the age of five as:
· Brighton and Hove – 80.4 percent
· East Sussex Downs and Weald – 85.7 percent
· Hastings and Rother – 85.5 percent
· West Sussex – 89.3 percent
It is estimated that only around 60 percent of eligible young people in Brighton and Hove are having the teenage booster. Young people are usually invited via their GP surgeries to have this immunisation around their 15th birthday.
“Children and young people need these boosters to ensure they are fully protected against potentially serious diseases,” said specialist immunisation nurse Rosanna Raven.
“Invitations and reminders are sent to children and young people to have these free boosters and we urge them to take up this offer and be vaccinated. If you or your child are eligible for a booster but have missed or not received an invitation, please speak to your GP surgery or health visitor.”
Flyers and posters raising awareness of the boosters and their importance have been produced as part of Immunisation Week. These will be distributed to schools across Sussex for Reception Year children and for Year Ten students. The flyers also encourage those at higher risk of flu complications to have a flu vaccination.
The pre-school booster is usually given to children between the ages of three years and four months and about five years old. A ten year gap between both boosters is recommended so the teenage booster is usually offered to students from the age of 15.
For more information, speak to your GP surgery or health visitor or visit www.nhs.uk/vaccinations.
Notes to Editors
- Sussex Immunisation Week has been organised by NHS Sussex and Sussex Community NHS Trust with support from Brighton & Hove City Council, East Sussex County Council and West Sussex County Council.
- The two public health interventions that have had the greatest impact on the world’s health are clean water and vaccines – World Health Organisation.
- This year’s seasonal flu vaccine is now available free of charge to people at higher risk of flu complications. These include all pregnant women, people aged 65 and over, and certain children and adults with medical conditions such as cerebral palsy, diabetes, asthma, chronic heart problems and chronic kidney disease.
- More information is available from www.nhs.uk/vaccinations
Your four local NHS primary care trusts (PCTs) have joined forces to become NHS Sussex. The Sussex PCT Cluster represents NHS West Sussex, NHS East Sussex Downs and Weald, NHS Hastings and Rother, and NHS Brighton and Hove.
NHS Sussex is committed to commissioning high quality healthcare services for the people of Sussex. We also support our emerging clinical commissioning groups as they prepare to take on commissioning responsibilities in the future, as well as maintaining relationships with partner organisations.
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