Raising awareness of the importance of vaccines in saving lives and protecting health is the focus of European Immunisation Week, 24-30 April.
Hampshire County Council is urging people to protect themselves, their families and the wider community by taking up their routine vaccinations when invited to by their GP.
At a time when some countries in Europe and worldwide are witnessing measles outbreaks, the campaign, led by the World Health Organisation, aims to drive home the message to “prevent, protect and immunise” amongst parents and caregivers, health care professionals, policy and decision-makers, and the media.
Since the introduction of vaccinations, they have saved millions of lives and successfully eliminated certain childhood diseases. It is estimated that the measles vaccination, introduced in 1968, has averted 20 million measles cases and 4,500 deaths. Every winter, the flu vaccination continues to protect vulnerable adults and children against infection.
The UK is recognised for its world-leading vaccination programme, led by Public Health England, the NHS and local government. Parental confidence in vaccinations is high despite the proliferation of misinformation online from ‘’anti-vax’’ groups.
Routine vaccinations are offered to everyone in the UK free of charge at the ages at which they should ideally be given. If you are not sure whether you or your child have had all your routine vaccinations, check online at www.nhs.uk If you are unsure or think you’re missing a vaccine then call your GP or practice nurse to find out. It may be possible to catch up later in life.