Campaign leads to high increase in Islington immunisations

Islington is now one of the top performing boroughs for childhood vaccinations thanks to a sustained campaign run by Whittington Health.

Traditionally immunisation rates in Islington have been consistently lower than the national average, increasing the risk of outbreaks of preventable diseases such as measles, mumps or rubella.

Over the past two years the borough has seen a significant rise in the take up of key vaccinations, with around a 40 per cent increase in children aged under five years of age, 20 per cent in children under two and ten per cent in those aged one.

Our Islington immunisation team have achieved this by working in partnership with GP practice nurses, GPs and practice managers to target areas and groups that have the lower rates, increasing opening times at clinics and following up all unimmunised children.

Within the borough, 98 per cent of Islington one year olds now receive the 5-in-1 vaccine (also known as the DTaP/IPV/Hib vaccine), which is one of the first vaccines a baby will have protecting them against five serious childhood diseases (diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough (pertussis), polio, and Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b), 94 per cent of Islington five year olds received measles, mumps and ruebella (MMR) 2 vaccine and 94 per cent have received the 4 in-1 pre-school booster vaccine given to three-year-old children to boost their protection against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough and polio.

The immunisation team will now be focusing on further improving take up amongst five year olds.

Christine Ogundele, immunisation specialist nurse from Whittington Health said: “We are pleased we have managed to achieve this sharp increase in two years, which means these children have a high level of protection from many illnesses and diseases.

“Ensuring your child is vaccinated protects them from many preventable, debilitating childhood illnesses and also helps to avoid outbreaks of diseases. Boosters are also incredibly important as they provide additional immunity to infections and reduces the chance of disease spreading.”

Dr Gillian Greenhough Islington CCG chair and a local GP said: “Congratulations and thank you to the health visitors and staff of Whittington hospital, all the GPs and practice nurses in Islington, and families, who have helped to achieve this fantastic increase in immunisation results. By achieving such high levels it protects the vulnerable children in our borough and helps to stop outbreaks, such as the measles outbreak in Wales, occurring locally.”

A spokesperson for Camden and Islington Public Health said: “Camden and Islington Public Health welcome this good news.
“We will continue to work with health and children’s services, such as children’s centres and school nurses to ensure that children are immunised.”

How to get a vaccination

To have your child vaccinated, speak to your GP practice.

For specific advice or more information about immunisations, please contact your health visitor or the Islington immunisation specialist nurse on 07917 235052.
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