Record numbers of NHS frontline staff have had flu jab this winter

Record numbers of NHS staff have had their flu jab this winter, official figures from Public Health England (PHE) show | OnMedica

syringe-1696020_960_720.png

Some 594,700 (61.8%) frontline NHS staff across England were vaccinated against flu between 1 September and 31 December last year. That figure is expected to increase in January and February.

The highest level achieved by the end of February in previous winters was 541,757 (just under 55%) in 2014-15.

PHE does not have recorded numbers of deaths from flu. But it is estimated that, in 2015-16, there were about 2,300 excess deaths over the winter linked to the time of year. Flu and extreme cold weather are the two most likely causes.

Read the news story here

Meningitis and septicaemia prevention

Public Health England has published Guidance on the prevention and management of meningococcal meningitis and septicaemia in higher education institutions: raising awareness, promoting immunisation and planning ahead.

mening

Image source: http://www.gov.uk

This guidance includes information on understanding invasive meningococcal disease and why freshers are at increased risk; raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of meningitis; encouraging all first time university entrants up to 25 years old to have the MenACWY vaccination; planning ahead for possible case or cluster of cases of meningitis; and sourcing resources to support awareness of immunisation.

Practice Transformation Program Increases Adult Influenza Vaccination

Infection Control Today | Published online: 3 November 2016

injection-1674900_960_720

An evidence-based, step-by-step guide, the 4 Pillars™ Practice Transformation Program, was the foundation of an intervention to increase adult immunizations in primary care and was tested in a randomized controlled cluster trial. The purpose of this study by Lin, et al. (2016) was to report changes in influenza immunization rates and on factors related to receipt of influenza vaccine.

Twenty-five primary care practices were recruited in 2013, stratified by city (Houston, Pittsburgh), location (rural, urban, suburban) and type (family medicine, internal medicine), and randomized to the intervention (n = 13) or control (n = 12) in Year 1 (2013-14). A follow-up intervention occurred in Year 2 (2014-15). Demographic and vaccination data were derived from de-identified electronic medical record extractions.

A cohort of 70,549 adults seen in their respective practices (n = 24 with 1 drop out) at least once each year was followed. Baseline mean age was 55.1 years, 35 % were men, 21 % were non-white and 35 % were Hispanic. After one year, both intervention and control arms significantly (P < 0.001) increased influenza vaccination, with average increases of 2.7 to 6.5 percentage points. In regression analyses, likelihood of influenza vaccination was significantly higher in sites with lower percentages of patients with missed opportunities (P < 0.001) and, after adjusting for missed opportunities, the intervention further improved vaccination rates in Houston (lower baseline rates) but not Pittsburgh (higher baseline rates). In the follow-up intervention, the likelihood of vaccination increased for both intervention sites and those that reduced missed opportunities (P < 0.005).

The researchers say that reducing missed opportunities across the practice increases likelihood of influenza vaccination of adults. The 4 Pillars™ Practice Transformation Program provides strategies for reducing missed opportunities to vaccinate adults.

Read the full overview here

Read the original article here

Childhood flu programme: information for practitioners

The Department of Health has updated its guidance document The National Childhood Flu Immunisation Programme 2016/17 Information for healthcare practitioners

flu

Image source: http://www.gov.uk/

The document includes information on:

  • what flu is
  • the flu vaccine
  • dosage
  • administering the vaccine
  • advice on vaccinating children with an egg allergy
  • further resources

Tackling falling child vaccination rates

vaccination-1215279_960_720NICE is developing priorities to help ensure unvaccinated children across the country get the protection they need.  In some areas of the country, fewer than 1 in 5 children are vaccinated against diseases such as polio and diphtheria. Experts have warned that unless uptake rates improve there is a risk of these diseases making a comeback.

Last year only a quarter of local authorities met World Health Organization targets to vaccinate 95% of children against measles, mumps and rubella.  A draft quality standard from NICE, out for consultation until 29 September, sets out how to drive up the number of under 19s who receive vaccinations.