Since the original publication of the position statement in 2020, childhood vaccination coverage has continued to decrease and no single vaccine in the UK met the 95% uptake target set by WHO. Years of poor uptake for MMR vaccines have led to a number of outbreaks across the UK. Poliovirus traces were also found in north and east London sewage in early 2022. The UK now runs a real risk of a resurgence of mostly eliminated diseases.
RCPCH’s updated position statements includes key data on vaccination uptake, economic benefits from vaccinations, key messages for healthcare professionals and a range of recommendations to improve access and uptake for immunisations. You can read the position statement here.
RCPCH Immunisation Expert, Professor Helen Bedford, said:
Vaccinations are one of the most powerful tools we have in preventing ill health. Vaccines have saved millions of children’s lives, protected them from serious illness and life changing complications; they have transformed the world we live in. Their role in the prevention of deadly diseases is crucial in reducing NHS pressures. Our updated position statement and recommendations focus on improving access to vaccines, interoperability of data and digital health and understanding the health inequalities associated with low vaccine uptake. We urge UK Governments and health bodies to take these recommendations on board and reverse these low uptake figures.