Childhood Immunisations

Today I’m going to talk about immunisations. They’re never out of the news for very long and they’ve been in the news again recently. If you’re looking at immunisations for children, well, the notion is not new. It goes back a couple of hundred years.

Getting your child immunised has been part of keeping your child healthy, and has a routine. There have actually been changes over the years. Nowadays, babies start their immunizations at the age of two months and they get vaccinated against 10, or 11, different conditions, if they’re girls.

These infectious diseases are all unpleasant to have and some can even be fatal. I’m not really going to talk about the importance of getting those done, because clearly as a doctor and a parent, I think it is vital to get your child immunised. But now we’ve got the idea of having annual flu vaccines for all children between the ages of 2 and 17, in this country.

I think that is a new concept. It’s going to mean vaccinating an awful lot to your children. Now, when I say vaccinating, the good news is that it’s a nasal spray. So, it’s not another needle for your child. The down side is it’s going to take a little bit of organising and so it’s probably not going to be rolled out at all until the end of 2014.

The government is going to have to gear up to it because it will take a lot of preparation. Just Imagine 2-year-olds being vaccinated at your GP surgery by your health visitor and older children being vaccinated at school or near school premises.