Respiratory Syncytial Virus: Vaccination

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered at on 14 February 2024.

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Photo of Baroness Ritchie of Downpatrick Baroness Ritchie of Downpatrick Non-affiliated

To ask His Majesty's Government when they intend to outline a timeline for the implementation of Respiratory Syncytial Virus vaccination programmes for infants and older adults; and what plans they have to increase public awareness of the virus.

Photo of Lord Markham Lord Markham The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The Government is engaging the market on its requirements for products that would enable Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) programmes to be implemented for infants and older adults, following advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation in 2023. A final decision on these programmes will be taken following the outcome of this process. If any RSV programmes are agreed to, their implementation will be announced to the public and health professionals in due course.

Whilst population wide immunisation is not currently available, the Government is increasing efforts to minimise the number of severe cases of RSV. This is currently done by a targeted immunisation offer to those known to be at highest risk of severe complications. The National Health Service has also published signs and symptoms of RSV, and advice on when parents should bring their children to seek medical attention. The UK Health Security Agency has also provided public health messaging on social, national, and regional media, highlighting the signs and symptoms of RSV and the steps that can be taken to reduce infections, including reducing risks to young children.

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