Royal College of Nursing urges parents to still get children vaccinated during coronavirus pandemic
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It says it is particularly important children do not miss out on the vaccination programme to protect them now, as well as in the future.
Research published in the British Medical Journal suggested the number of MMR vaccines was down by nearly a fifth (19.8%) from February, and in the three weeks after the introduction of social distancing measures compared to the same period last year.
Guidance from the RCN provides information and tips on maintaining the immunisation programme during the Covid-19 pandemic including the consideration of telephone consultation with parents to complete as much of the pre-immunisation discussion as possible.
It also suggests discussing consent, and providing post-immunisation advice prior to the patient attending the practice, as well as considering sending out information to parents in advance by text or email.
The RCN further suggests nursing staff provide guidance to parents/carers on what they are doing to keep them safe while attending for a vaccination.
Helen Donovan, Royal College of Nursing professional lead for public health, said: "The vaccination programme remains vital for public health now and for the future, and it remains important it continues.
"We know from experience that falls in immunisation rates can lead to increases in death from the diseases the vaccines are designed to prevent.
"This is why it is so important the routine vaccination programme continues.
"It is understandable that parents will have concerns about taking their children to the surgery at this time but they should be assured that measures are in place to provide a safe environment for vaccinations to take place."
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