Routine childhood immunisation programmes continued to be delivered in primary care during the early stages of the pandemic. However, the closure of schools from 23 March 2020 disrupted the delivery of all school-aged immunisation programmes, including human papillomavirus (HPV).
Providers have adopted a flexible and transformative delivery model to address this and ensure that those who are eligible can receive their vaccinations. This includes prioritisation of immunisations based on the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation’s advice, digitalising consent processes and utilising a range of alternative community settings to deliver vaccines where appropriate. The Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England are working with the Department for Education to ensure that schools facilitate the continuation of vaccinations and improve uptake rates.
Providers are currently focussed on delivering the flu vaccine in schools as well as the COVID-19 vaccine. The prioritisation of the flu vaccine is usual for this time of year and school providers will recommence work on routine vaccinations and those outstanding in the new year.