It is important that anyone that is invited for routine vaccinations during the COVID-19 pandemic should undertake the opportunity to do so.
The Public Health Agency stated that, “Vaccines save millions of lives every year and are well recognised as being one of the most successful public health interventions in the world.”
Life-threatening diseases such as the whooping cough, diphtheria and measles have been successfully reduced by immunisation programmes. In light of this, it is important that during the COVID-19 pandemic the uptake of these programmes is maintained to prevent any resurgence or outbreaks of these infections in children or other vulnerable groups. It will also help to reduce the number of people requiring health service treatments.
Scientific evidence has proven that the timing of immunisation programmes are structured to consider the epidemiology of infectious diseases and how to maximise the benefit gained from individual programmes, especially when young and vulnerable people are at greatest risk of infection. Every effort should therefore be made to ensure that vaccine programmes are completed on time.
Parents need to be urged to ensure that their preschool children are vaccinated at their GP surgery when invited to do so and similarly with other vulnerable groups. When the flu programme starts again in October, it will be more important than ever that those eligible for the flu vaccine take the opportunity to be vaccinated. School-based programmes will recommence again as soon as possible, and work is currently underway to look at these arrangements.
Parents need to be aware that as long as you do not have any COVID-19 symptoms (a cough and / or temperature, potentially unwell or have been exposed to someone with the virus) then it is safe to attend a healthcare environment to receive your vaccination. If this is not the case then you should phone your practice to seek advice and reschedule your appointment.
All practices have robust infection control procedures in place to ensure that your child will not come into contact with the virus and to reduce the risk of its’ spreading. Appropriate social distancing measures will have been put in place to ensure that vaccines can continue to be given as normal.
Guidelines That Must be followed for Routine Immunisations
The following provides a list of things to consider if your child has been invited to receive a vaccination:
Call the surgery and reschedule if you or your child are feeling unwell.
We should not take our own health or that of our children for granted during these trying times during the COVID-19 pandemic. Having vaccinations when prompted to do so will prevent your child from the health risks associated with vaccine-preventable diseases and will also help to protect those who aren’t yet eligible to receive the vaccine, such as young babies.
In respect of saving lives and promoting good health, vaccinations are second only to clean water as the most effective health intervention in the world, therefore one of the most important things we should strive to do is to stay healthy.