When a high percentage of the population is protected against a disease through vaccination, it becomes harder for the disease to pass between people who have not been vaccinated. This makes the spread of the disease more difficult. In time this can lead to a disease being eradicated. One reason herd immunity is important is because not everyone can be immunised – such as the very young, or those who are immuno-suppressed. This vulnerable group are protected by those who are able to be immunised.
In recent years a decline in acceptance of the immunisation programme has lead to a worrying increase in previously rare serious illnesses such as measles.
School Age Immunisation
The Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust deliver the School Age Immunisation service across Norfolk and work closely with all schools to ensure that as many children and young people are protected from vaccine-preventable diseases as possible. A strong relationship between the schools and the School Immunisation Team is at the heart of the success of the programmes.
Accessible community clinics are available throughout the year for those who were absent on the day, did not have consent available, or have additional health needs. Home educated children are also offered the immunisation programme at a community location.
The immunisation programme can be emotive for some parents – there is a lot of information available and not all of it has any basis in scientific evidence. It is important that all professionals signpost to websites that offer balanced, research based information and advice on the subject. There are links to credible websites below.