Government backs pneumococcal vaccine

Medical Government/ NHS related news

The government has given its full support to the pneumococcal vaccine, urging more parents to vaccinate their children.

It confirmed that over 300 children have avoided serious illnesses such as meningitis, septicaemia and severe pneumonia after being given the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine just one year after its launch.

Of the 300 cases, estimates suggested that 17 children would have died and 30 would have been left with a permanent disability.

Reflecting on the estimates, the director of immunisation David Salisbury is now calling for more children to be vaccinated.

It has also been revealed that uptake of the new vaccine continued to be lower than other vaccines.

The Health Protection Agency released figures today revealing that one in six children had not received their pneumococcal conjugate vaccine.

Health minister Ben Bradshaw commented: "Vaccinating children against harmful diseases is one of the easiest and most important health measures we can take."

Also this week, the Department of Health published its report examining the variation in rates of the hospital infection MRSA between different institutions, from 2001 to 2006.

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