Swine flu vaccination.IN November, the Government announced that it was extending the swine flu vaccination programme to include children over six months and under five. The decision was taken on the advice of the UK's leading panel of experts on this issue: "The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) is an independent expert advisory committee of the United Kingdom Department of Health. JCVI was established, in 1963, "To advise the Secretaries of State for Health, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland on matters relating ".
Children under five years of age are more likely than other groups to be hospitalised if they become ill with swine flu. Young children also have high rates of admission to critical care and, sadly, young children have died, including here in the North East.
Vaccination of people in clinical risk groups is well under way, with more than seven million doses of vaccine already distributed. Vaccinating these groups remains a priority to protect those at greatest risk from swine flu.
Parents of children who are over six months and under five years should wait to be contacted by their local surgery.
The Royal College of Nursing The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) is a membership organisation with over 395,000 members in the United Kingdom. It was founded in 1916, receiving its Royal Charter in 1928, Queen Elizabeth II is the patron. is part of a coalition of key groups, including the British Medical Association (BMA), Royal College of General Practitioners The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) was founded in 1952 in London, England. It is a registered charity that aims to maintain the highest standards of general medical practice in education, training and research in the UK. (RCGP), Royal College of Midwives (RCM), Royal College of Psychiatrists The Royal College of Psychiatrists is the main professional organisation of psychiatrists in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, responsible for representing and certifying psychiatrists, psychiatric training and providing high quality public information about mental , Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) is a professional association based in England. Its members, including people with and without medical degrees, work in the field of obstetrics and gynaecology. (RCOG), Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, UNISON, NHS Employers and the Department of Health, all of whom support the swine flu vaccination programme.
The NHS depends on the people treating and caring for patients, day in day out - they are our most important asset and we are committed to protecting them and their families during the current swine flu pandemic.
EXPERT - Glenn Turp, RCN Regional Director We fully support the swine flu vaccination programme - it will reduce the risk to staff, protect patients and help sustain services during the pandemic. By the nature of their work, many NHS staff come into close contact with patients and the public and have a higher risk of exposure to the virus, and that is why they are one of the groups that has been offered the vaccine first.
The vaccine has been thoroughly tested. All NHS organisations will be working hard to ensure that all priority groups are given access to the vaccination to protect themselves, their families and their patients from swine flu.
The RCN encourages priority groups to protect themselves with the swine flu vaccine, in addition to the seasonal 'flu immunisation. It is your best defence against 'flu this winter. We also support your right not to be vaccinated, and recognise that the decision to be vaccinated is a personal matter.
For more information, visit www.rcn.org.uk, and select "Pandemic Flu Updates".
EXPERT - Glenn Turp, RCN Regional Director