Chloe Leggat, Screening and Immunisation Co-ordinator (Leicestershire, Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire) Public Health England will make a presentation on Flu and Vaccination Programmes – Leicester City.
Chloe Leggat, Screening and Immunisation Co-ordinator, NHS England (Leicestershire, Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire) attended the meeting to give a presentation on the Flu and Vaccination Programmes for Leicester City.
During the presentation it was noted that:-
a) The programme provided for flu vaccinations for a wide range of at risk groups which were listed in the report including everyone aged 6 months to 65 years with a serious medical condition, those groups with chronic long term respiratory, heart, kidney, liver and neurological diseases, diabetes, poorly functioning or absent spleen, weakened immunity systems and those classified as morbidly obese.
b) The National uptake of flu vaccinations were generally lower in GP practices than in schools and the uptake was not as good in younger children. The take up of the vaccination was outlined in detail in the presentation slides which had been circulated with the agenda.
c) Barriers encountered in delivering the flu vaccinations included:-
· Issues in obtaining school pupil data.
· Myths that vaccination did not work or gave you the flu.
· Recent increase in activity by anti-vaccine lobby and concerns that vaccine contained porcine gelatine.
· There were some issues around poor performance and practice in GP practices and these were being addressed. These issues included needle phobia, porcine gelatine concerns, myths, perceived as a minor illness, patient targeting and poor strain matching.
d) LPT provided a school aged immunisation service with an uptake of over 50%. Children who were absent from schools on the day the vaccinations were given a second offer or the option of going to specific pharmacies to get immunised.
e) There were 102 schools in the city and 28,420 pupils were eligible for the vaccine and 46.6% of pupils had been vaccinated which was above the 40% rate need to provide an economic benefit.
f) The uptake in some schools were very poor. One school with 420 pupils on the school roll resulted in only 32 consents being given for the vaccination to be administered. Reasons appeared to vary as one GP practice in the same catchment area as schools had an uptake of 45% as opposed to 15% in the schools in the area. This was felt be a result of the GP practice being actively proactive n promoting the vaccinations.
g) Some schools had cancelled vaccination sessions because they had Ofsted inspections at the time and work was ongoing with Ofsted who did encourage schools to participate in the vaccination programme as part of the inspection regime.
h) Dialogue had been established with UHL to identify 2 year olds in the various risk groups and to co-ordinate arrangements for them to be vaccinated. An SIT letter had been sent to 2 &3 year olds to improve the uptake of the vaccination programme and UHL maternity services and midwives were encouraged to give flu vaccinations alongside the scanning programme for expectant mothers.
i) The H1N1 swine flu virus was still prevalent in India and a number of requests had been received from patients for a vaccine prior to travelling.
j) There were some real inequality pockets of low immunity areas in the City.
During discussion Members made the following comments:-
a) There did not appear to be any direct correlation with cohorts that had not been vaccinated and their attendance record at schools.
b) The Strategic Director Children’s Services expressed an interest in receiving details of those schools that did not engage with the vaccination programme so that the Council’s services visiting schools could help to promote the programme. Public Health staff were also looking to contact schools to promote the vaccination programme.
c) Community leaders played an important part in encouraging target groups to engage with the vaccination programme. It was recognised that branding always offends someone
d) LRB Digital, the first live Muslim talk radio station had recently discussed the issues surrounding the flu vaccination programmes on air and the live broadcast discussion could be found on their Facebook page at the following link: https://en-gb.facebook.com/LRBDigitalUK/ .
1) That NHS England be thanked for their presentation and that the Council and partners on the Board engage with NHS England/Public Health England to improve the take up of the vaccination programme.
2) That the Children’s Services work with Public Health England and NHS England to consider ways of encouraging greater take up of the vaccination programme in schools.