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A jab in the right direction

A jab in the right direction

Thursday 24 April 2014

A jab in the right direction

Thursday 24 April 2014


New parents are being reminded of the importance of getting their babies vaccinated to stop diseases re-emerging in the Island.

The latest figures show that most parents in Jersey are choosing to get their children immunised but the Health department say there’s “no room for complacency”.

Last year 98% of babies had their jabs at two, three and four-months-old, protecting them from diseases like whooping cough and Hib meningitis. Over 95% of one-year-olds had the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine and more than 93% of children had their pre-school booster vaccine.

Head of Healthcare Programmes Dr Linda Diggle said: “We all know how hectic life is as a parent and it would be easy to put off immunisation. It’s also easy to become complacent and to wonder whether immunisations are still as important. The answer is that without continual high levels of immunisation uptake amongst children, we would eventually see diseases re-emerging in the island.

“Three years ago we worked with GPs to make pre-school immunisations as accessible as possible for Jersey parents, and the Public Health team try and help busy working parents by sending them reminders when their children’s vaccines are due. These 2013 statistics show that GP practices have been working very hard and that parents are proactively taking steps to protect their child’s health.”

“If you have a new baby, immunisations can seem daunting. If parents are at all unsure, we’d encourage them to speak to their GP at the six-week baby check. We also know some surgeries are carrying out surveys and seeking feedback from parents as to the immunisation service they provide. This illustrates how committed the local service is.”

In January this year the Health department added Rotavirus vaccine to their list of immunisations for young babies and this autumn students heading off to University will be advised to have a booster dose of the Meningitis C vaccine. The Health department will be reminding ‘Freshers’ nearer the time.

Dr Diggle said: “It’s a fact of life that the immunisation schedule needs to change periodically to keep pace with changes in the patterns of disease.”

You can find detailed information about the childhood immunisation schedule at www.gov.je/childrenshealth.

 

 

 

 

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