Coronavirus: A Public Health emergency

The coronavirus was declared a public health emergency on 30 January 2020 by the World Health Organisation (WHO), only the sixth such emergency since 2009. The declaration followed reports on 31 December 2019 of an unknown virus causing a number of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, a city in eastern China. The virus was later identified as a new strain of coronavirus (Cov).

This House of Lords Library briefing provides information about: the virus, including its spread and impact; what action the WHO and UK Government have taken; and the problem of disinformation in relation to the disease.

Full report: Coronavirus: A Public Health Emergency

Coronavirus: latest information and advice

Information for the public on the outbreak of coronavirus in China, including the current situation in the UK and information about the virus and its symptoms | Department of Health and Social Care | Public Health England

  1. Situation in the UK
  2. Information about the virus
  3. Advice for travellers
  4. Summary of action taken
  5. Diagnosis and analysis
  6. Further information

Increasing uptake for vaccinations: maximising the role of councils

Increasing uptake for vaccinations: maximising the role of councils | Local Government Association

Councils are not directly responsible for commissioning or delivering vaccine programmes but they are in a unique position to understand the health needs of their local population, and support vaccination services to reach them.

PH vacc
Image source: http://www.local.gov.uk

This may be through helping immunisation teams work with frontline services such as health visitors or children’s centres, or supporting pop-up vaccination clinics in under-vaccinated areas. Through our social media and wider health promotion work we can make residents aware of the importance of vaccination and counter any misinformation that is out there.

This report contains examples of all these and more. In Slough the council has partnered with the fire service and immunisation team to run mobile clinics, while in Tower Hamlets an online video has been produced to reach out to the local Somali community.

Investigation into pre-school vaccinations

This investigation sets out the system for providing vaccinations to pre-school children in England. It is prompted by public concerns about the levels of uptake of pre‑school vaccinations | National Audit Office

Health professionals consider that vaccinations are a crucial tool in protecting the health of individuals and that of the wider population, particularly for people with existing health problems who are more vulnerable to infectious diseases and for those who cannot receive vaccinations themselves. For vaccinations to be most effective, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that enough people need to be vaccinated to stop disease spreading across the population. This is called ‘herd immunity’.

injection-1674900_1280 (1)

There are seven types of vaccines (which protect against 13 diseases) routinely provided to children by the National Health Service (NHS) before they go to school aged five. In 2017‑18, the Department of Health & Social Care (the Department) set NHS England a performance standard of 95% uptake for pre-school vaccinations (except flu). There has been a general fall in uptake of pre-school vaccinations in England since 2012-13 and, in many cases, uptake of these vaccinations
is below the Department’s performance standard.

This report sets out:

  • the current levels of vaccination uptake and cases of disease across England
  • Public Health England (PHE)’s and NHS England’s understanding of the problem
  • PHE’s and NHS England’s response to the problem.

The report uses the MMR vaccination, the 4-in-1 booster and the Hib/MenC booster to highlight many of the challenges that exist in the system for pre‑school vaccinations and illustrate in more detail how uptake of vaccinations is falling.

 

 

 

25 million to be offered free NHS flu jab this winter

Record numbers of people in England will be offered a flu vaccine this winter. For the first time, all primary school children will be offered the nasal spray | via Public Health England

The health service in England has prepared for its largest ever flu protection drive to help keep people well and ease pressure on urgent care services over the colder months.

injection-1674900_1280The number of people eligible has topped 25 million this year as the offer of the vaccine is now extended to all primary school aged children – an extra 600,000 children. NHS commissioned school vaccination teams, maternity services, general practices and local pharmacies are all now preparing to provide vaccines to primary school aged children, 2 and 3 year olds, those with underlying health conditions, pregnant women and older adults (aged 65 years and over).

Employers of frontline health and social care workers also have a responsibility to ensure their staff can get the free vaccine. A record number of NHS staff – almost 3 quarters of a million, or 70.3% of frontline workers – took up their workplace jab last year.

Full article at Public Health England

See also: Flu vaccination: The main things to know about the 2019 programme | Public Health England