The Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin School Aged Immunisation Service and the importance of childhood vaccinations
Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin School Aged Immunisation service offers vaccinations to all children aged 4 (in reception year) to 16 and up to 18 year olds in special educational needs schools. The service works with schools across the county to deliver its vaccination programmes throughout the school term-time. In addition, the service also offers community clinics after school and during the school holidays for children and young people who are educated at home or in other settings and who are not currently in education or who have missed their school session.
It is important to protect our children and young people against a number of dangerous infectious diseases. The National Immunisation Programme means that diseases like Polio have disappeared in the UK; this is only possible by maintaining the high vaccination rates for children and young people across our local communities.
The dedicated School Aged Immunisation Team is made up of professionals who are highly skilled and experienced in giving vaccinations. The School Aged Immunisation team are vital to help ensure our children are protected from infectious diseases which can kill or have lasting damage to their health. The team ensures that every child is given the opportunity to get vaccinated including those who are home tutored, travelling communities, hard-to-reach communities and Pupil Referral Units.
Debbie Jones who is the Clinical Team Lead for School Aged Immunisation Service at Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust, said: “Vaccines are the most effective way to prevent infectious diseases and immunisations prepare the body to fight serious infection that might happen in the future.
“The risks of a child not receiving their vaccines are really significant, for example, the number of cases of measles is increasing quite steeply across Europe and England, Measles can lead to many complications such as Pneumonia or even death in severe cases, it also weakens your child’s immune system for a few years after the initial infection so vaccines really are a child’s best defence. Vaccines are incredibly safe. Most side effects are very mild like a bit of fever or pain which can be easily managed at home. The risks of not getting the vaccine are far greater than having the vaccine.
“The School Aged Immunisation Service team in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin are professional, caring and experienced in delivering vaccinations to children and young people delivering a service of a high quality that is safe, effective and compassionate. We are committed to reaching high vaccination coverage across the county and are here to answer any questions.”
The service offers the following immunisation programmes in schools:
- Seasonal Flu vaccination to protect healthy children against Flu (all children in primary and secondary schools).
- Seasonal Flu vaccination to protect children in special schools against Flu (4–18 years of age).
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination to protect against cancers caused by HPV (in school year 8), including cervical cancer, some mouth and throat (head and neck) cancers and some cancers of the anal and genital areas. It also helps protect against genital warts.
- Teenage booster and Meningitis ACWY vaccinations to protect young people against Tetanus, Diphtheria and Polio and Meningitis (in school year 9). This Immunisations for Young People Guide outlines and explains these vaccinations and why they are needed.
Millions of deaths can be prevented by immunisation. The measles vaccine was introduced in 1968 and between 2000 - 2018, the World Health Organisation estimates that the measles vaccination prevented 23.2 million deaths making measles vaccine one of the best in public health.