Not vaccinating your child puts them at risk
Gloucestershire County Council is urging all parents to make sure they are getting their children vaccinated this Immunisation Awareness Week.
Childhood vaccinations cover a range of immunisations, including protection from diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, measles, mumps and polio. They start from around eight weeks old.
In the UK, children are vaccinated against diseases which can have devastating consequences, including death. The reason some diseases have become rarer is because of the success of vaccination programmes. However, they can still come back and spread rapidly if people are not protected.
When immunisation rates are high, the wider community is protected, including infants who are too young to be vaccinated, older people and people who take medication that lowers their immune system. A 95 per cent vaccination rate is the recommended figure, however in Gloucestershire the figure for pre-school vaccinations for children is below 90 per cent in some circumstances.
It’s particularly important that parents check with their GP surgery that their child has had all the vaccinations they need before they start school, when they come into contact with more potential sources of infection.
Dave McConalogue, consultant in public health at Gloucestershire County Council, said: “Vaccinations save lives. The success of immunisation has meant that several horrible diseases have become very rare, and we want to keep it that way.
“By making sure your child has had all their vaccinations before starting school, you’re giving them the best possible chance to stay healthy and well.”
For a full list of vaccinations, please visit: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/vaccinations/Pages/vaccination-schedule-age-checklist.aspx. Immunisation Awareness Week takes place from 24th – 30th April and for more information, visit http://www.who.int/campaigns/immunization-week/2017/en/.