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Health: Influenza

House of Lords written question – answered on 24th January 2011.

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Photo of Baroness Masham of Ilton Baroness Masham of Ilton Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to offer young children the flu vaccine, in light of the number of young children who are seriously ill or who have died as a result of swine flu.

Photo of Earl Howe Earl Howe The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

The Government's policy on influenza vaccination is informed by the expert advice of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). In its statement of 23 July 2010, JCVI recommended that those children with clinical conditions which put them more at risk from the effects of influenza should be offered the vaccine. JCVI does not recommend that children under the age of five outside the at-risk groups should be vaccinated. JCVI met on 30 December 2010 to review the latest evidence on this issue. Following the meeting, the JCVI chairman assured my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Health that this advice remains appropriate, and recommended that efforts be focused on maximising vaccine uptake among all those in the risk groups. As with all vaccination programmes, JCVI will keep this matter under review.

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