NHS England is urging Islanders to attend regular vaccination appointments to prevent outbreaks of deadly serious diseases and reduce pressure on the health service. While preventing the spread of COVID-19 is a public health priority, it is still vital that members of the public go to scheduled vaccination appointments to stop outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases and to protect vulnerable groups including children, babies and pregnant women. As long as those getting attending appointments, including parents of babies or children, do not have symptoms or are not self-isolating because someone in the household is displaying symptoms, all scheduled vaccinations should go ahead as normal. Dr Nisha Jayatilleke, Screening & Immunisations Lead, South East, at NHS England and Improvement said: “Vaccines are an absolutely essential building block of good health, so if you or any member of your household are not displaying symptoms of coronavirus and are not self-isolating, vaccinations should happen as normal. “While the NHS is taking measures to protect people from coronavirus, local services are working hard to ensure that people including babies, children and pregnant women still receive their routine vaccinations - they provide essential protection against potentially life-threatening diseases.” The national immunisation programme is highly successful in reducing the number of serious and sometimes life-threatening diseases such as whooping cough, diphtheria and measles. It is important to maintain the best possible vaccine uptake to prevent a resurgence of these infections, which would put unnecessary added pressure on the NHS. When attending appointments, people should follow government guidance and ensure they are two metres apart from anyone outside their household and minimise time spent outside. If a patient or a member of their household develops coronavirus symptoms, they should follow government guidance and reschedule their appointment. Dr Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunisations at Public Health England, said: “The national immunisation programme is highly successful in preventing serious and sometimes life-threatening diseases, such as pneumonia, meningitis, whooping cough, diphtheria and measles. “During this time, it is important to maintain the best possible vaccine uptake to prevent a resurgence of these infections.” If individuals or members of a household need advice from a GP practice about symptoms not related to coronavirus, they should contact the practice online or by phone to be assessed. Parents are advised to do this if their children have symptoms of scarlet fever as we reach the peak season between late March and mid-April. Symptoms of this include a rash, sore throat, headache and fever. Scarlet fever mainly infects children and is most common between the ages of 2 and 8 years. It was once a very dangerous infection but has now become much less serious, with antibiotic treatment now available to minimise the risk of complications, however there is currently no vaccine.
NHS URGES PUBLIC TO GET VACCINATED DURING CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC - Island Echo - 24hr news, 7 days a week across the Isle of Wight