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Government announces new vaccination programmes

28 May 2013

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Three vaccination programmes to protect against flu, shingles and diarrhoea have been announced by the government. 

All children aged two (around 650,000 in total) will be offered a nasal flu vaccine from September 2013. 

A small number of pilots to vaccinate primary and pre-school aged children will also run in some areas to ensure the NHS is prepared. 

Pilots for secondary school children will run in some areas in 2014 in order to roll out the programme nationwide by 2015. 

There will be a shingles vaccination programme for people aged 70, with a catch-up programme for those aged up to, and including 79. 

The government estimates 40% of the 30,000 annual cases of shingles will be prevented by the programme, which starts in September 2013. 

A rotavirus vaccination programme for children under four months old will start in July 2013. 

The highly infectious bug causes around 140,000 diarrhoea cases per year in under fives, leading to hospital stays for nearly one in ten. 

NHS England Director of Immunisation Professor David Salisbury said: “By offering new vaccines to two groups at the opposite end of the age scale, we can protect our most vulnerable against potentially harmful diseases. 

“And the introduction of a teenage booster for Meningitis C will improve the protection given to young people.”

A new teenage booster jab given at age 12-13 will replace the booster that is currently given at four months old – as evidence shows the four-month booster is no longer required. The teenage booster jab will be offered in the 2013/14 academic year.

The decisions to introduce the new vaccination programmes and updates to existing programmes were made after the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) – the government’s independent vaccine experts – studied all the available evidence and advised that these changes are made to protect more people against disease.