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Vaccination: Children

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 8th October 2019.

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Photo of Lord Taylor of Warwick Lord Taylor of Warwick Non-affiliated

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have (1) to increase the uptake of childhood vaccination, and (2) make childhood vaccination mandatory.

Photo of Baroness Blackwood of North Oxford Baroness Blackwood of North Oxford The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The Department is working with Public Health England, NHS England and NHS Improvement and other stakeholders to deliver a comprehensive vaccine and immunisation strategy this autumn. The strategy will set out a clear vision for maintaining and developing England’s world-leading immunisation programme over the next 10 years and beyond.

Actions planned or underway to increase the uptake of childhood vaccination include:

- Strengthening the role of local immunisation coordinators – healthcare professionals that promote vaccine uptake, particularly in under-served groups, by supporting areas with low uptake and tailoring specific local interventions to under-vaccinated communities;

- Holding a summit with social media companies to agree actions they can take to tackle the proliferation of anti-vaccine messaging on their sites;

- Updating the National Health Service website to ensure availability of NHS-approved, evidence-based and trusted advice on vaccines; and

- A review of general practice vaccinations and immunisation standards, funding, and procurement to incentivise improved immunisation coverage.

Vaccine uptake remains high, but rates must improve to fully protect the public. Childhood vaccinations are not currently mandatory but, as part of the new vaccine strategy, we are exploring bold action to ensure every child is properly protected, including possible approaches to mandation.

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