All jabs to be given in one visit

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Children are to be immunised against six diseases in one go after their first birthday, under new Government plans.

The vaccination schedule will give children three jabs to protect them against meningitis, pneumonia, measles, mumps and rubella during a single appointment.

Currently they receive the six vaccinations across two appointments when they are 12 and 13 months old.

The move follows a recommendation from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation that vaccines should be given at the same visit to simplify childhood immunisation.

The Department of Health (DOH) say the change will reduce the number of visits parents have to make to their GP. It is hoped the single appointment will increase the uptake of vaccinations.

A DOH spokesperson said, ‘Independent scientific research has shown that providing these vaccines at the same time is safe, effective and more convenient for parents.’

In a letter sent to GPs this month, interim chief medical officer Sally Davies said the new policy should be ‘brought in as soon as practicable for your area.’

In the same document the JCVI advises health professionals to be ready to reassure parents that combining vaccinations into one appointment and giving three injections at a time is safe. It also says that parents will not be forced to agree to their children having the three injections at the same time.


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