Parents urged to get routine immunisations for children on World Immunisation Week

Health chiefs are urging parents, families and guardians from across West Lancashire to attend essential, time-critical routine childhood immunisation appointments when invited, this World Immunisation Week.

Routine vaccination appointments have continued throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and millions of children have been vaccinated safely.

Essential, routine vaccinations like the MMR vaccine can save a child’s life and will be arranged by your GP practice.

It is really important to protect your children as soon as possible and take them for their vaccinations when invited. Please do not delay.

As long as those attending appointments, including parents of babies or children, do not have COVID-19 symptoms or are not self-isolating, because someone in the household is displaying symptoms of COVID-19, all scheduled vaccinations should go ahead as normal.

Your family doctor has measures in place to ensure the safety of you and your child during your visit.

Dad Pete Rimmer told us about his initial concerns when it was time to get his son Theo vaccinated: “At first we were concerned with everything going on but we spoke to our practice nurse who gave us lots of reassurance and about the precautions they are putting in place. Theo has now had his 1-year vaccinations and we’re really, really glad we did it and would encourage everyone to speak to their practice nurse and get as much information as possible.”

Theo responded by blowing a raspberry at his favourite toy car.

Picture of Theo and Pete

Gill Marsh Screening and Immunisation Nurse Consultant in the North West said: “This week is World Immunisation Week and the theme is ‘Vaccines bring us closer’. That doesn’t just mean the COVID-19 vaccine but other vaccines such as those your children need. What matters most is that you and your children are kept safe and protected, not just from the COVID-19 pandemic, but also from the diseases that children’s immunisations protect against.

“Every GP practice in West Lancashire has taken precautions to ensure your safety when you attend. They have the knowledge to answer any questions you have about the immunisations, whether that be about the ingredients, side effects or any other concerns, so please feel free to ask. It is better to ask so we can help you to protect your little ones from potentially life-threatening diseases.”

The national immunisation programme is highly successful in reducing the number of people suffering from serious and life-threatening illnesses such as whooping cough, meningitis and measles, with some illnesses almost disappearing completely.

High vaccine uptake can prevent a resurgence of infections, which would put the unimmunised, such as the very young or those unable to be vaccinated, at risk and also put unnecessary added pressure on the NHS at this difficult time.

For more details of which vaccinations are given, please visit the vaccination page via the NHS website.

There are also vaccination tips for parents, which can also be found via the NHS website.