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Journal of General Practice Nursing (GPN) | September 2015

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Vaccination and strategies to increase vaccine coverage

Vaccination and strategies to increase vaccine coverage
Health promotion

Article topics: Awareness, Herd immunity, Immunisation, Vaccination schedule, Vaccine coverage

The routine national vaccination programme protects against a number of diseases that can have a significant impact on health. Not only does vaccination save lives, it can also mitigate disease severity and provide some protection for unvaccinated individuals.The UK schedule is also now a lifelong programme, with some neonates, such as those at risk of hepatitis B infection, being offered their first vaccine on their day of birth, and other vaccines, such as the influenza vaccine, being recommended every single year for those eligible. Although several new vaccines have been added to the schedule over recent years, clinicians can expect programmes such as the influenza one to continue to expand. To ensure that the optimum benefits of vaccination are achieved, it is essential to maintain high vaccine coverage in communities to protect both the individual vaccinated and offer some indirect protection for those who remain unvaccinated. This article reviews the current schedule, considers the impact of vaccination and highlights actions that can be put in place to achieve high coverage.

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