Vaccines to protect Fenland school children

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A contract to run the school-age immunisation programme across Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough from September 2015 has been won by Cambridgeshire Community Services (CCS) NHS Trust.

The three-year immunisation programme will provide Td/IPV – the teenage booster dose or school leaver booster that provides complete protection against tetanus, diphtheria, and polio and is usually given between 13 and 18 years of age (planned to be given in school year 10); MenC – protection against meningitis and septicaemia; and HPV for girls, dose 1 in school year 8 and dose 2 to school year 9.

School-age flu vaccinations, for which CCS had a 64.6 per cent uptake (8440 children) against a 60 per cent target in Cambridgeshire in 2014/15, is not currently part of the contract but is expected to be added on as per national guidelines.

John Peberdy, assistant director, Children and Young People’s Health Services at CCS NHS Trust said: “The Trust is committed to protecting children and young people from preventable illnesses.

“Dedicated immunisation teams in each of the counties will promote the benefits of the programme to ensure the take up of vaccinations extends to as many children as possible.

“This programme will provide opportunities for ‘Making Every Contact Count’ through engaging with the children, young people and their families to support them live healthy lives.”

Dr Shylaja Thomas, Lead for Screening and Immunisations for NHS England Midlands and East said: “The award of this contract will ensure that we have a uniform service across Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough for these school aged vaccination programmes.

“School based provision for vaccination against Td/IPV, Meningitis C, and HPV will enable higher coverage and uptake in this age group of children. These vaccinations will benefit children and young people by offering protection against some potentially life-threatening diseases.”