Flu vaccination scheme to be extended to all children
25 July 2012 15:43 in Medical Government/ NHS related news
The government's flu vaccination programme is to be extended to all children in the UK between the ages of two and 17.
Health secretary Andrew Lansley is accepting recommendations from UK immunisation experts to make Britain the first country to offer a comprehensive programme extending flu vaccines to all children free of charge via the NHS.
Currently, free vaccination is limited to children in at-risk groups, such as those with asthma, heart conditions or cerebral palsy, but moderate uptake of the new scheme would lead to a 40 percent drop in the number of people affected.
The government is now looking at ways to successfully overcome the challenges of implementing this programme, which will cost more than 100 million pounds each year and will be offered to up to nine million children.
Chief medical officer Professor Dame Sally Davies said: "We accept the advice of our expert committee that rolling out a wider programme could further protect children, with even a modest take-up helping to protect our most vulnerable."
According to a recent Health Protection Agency report, seasonal influenza activity in 2011/12 was relatively low compared to the intensity observed in 2010/11.
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