The Local Government Association (LGA) has urged parents and guardians to make sure their children’s vaccinations are up to date.
The association said that many children and young people will have missed out on routine HPV, meningitis, and MMR vaccinations as they were unable to attend schools and health clinics during the coronavirus lockdown.
Research by Public Health England and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine shows that immunisations fell by 20 per cent in the first three weeks of lockdown.
The LGA has called on the government to set out its plan to ensure that children receive routine vaccinations without overwhelming GPs, clinics and schools, and to provide the necessary funding to allow local authority workforces to cope with the demand.
A full list of vaccinations and when they are available for children and adults is accessible through the NHS website.
‘Vaccines are an absolutely essential part of our children’s health and wellbeing, so if you or any member of your household are not displaying symptoms of coronavirus and are not self-isolating, vaccinations should happen as normal,’ said the chair of the LGA’s children and young people board, Cllr Judith Blake.
‘Local services are working hard to ensure that people including babies, children and pregnant women still receive their routine vaccinations – they provide essential protection against potentially life-threatening diseases.
‘The national immunisation programme is highly successful in reducing the number of serious and life-threatening diseases such as whooping cough, scarlet fever and measles. High vaccine uptake can prevent a resurgence of these infections, which can cause harm and put unnecessary added pressure on the NHS,’ added Cllr Blake.
‘We really do encourage parents to check if their child needs any vaccinations to make sure they are properly protected.’
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