Immunisation Horizon Scanning Volume 5 Issue 5

May 23, 2013

Should the UK introduce compulsory vaccination?

May 23, 2013

Source: The Lancet, 381 (9876) pp. 1434–1436

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Date of publication: April 2013

Publication Type: Comment

In a nutshell: Inevitably, an outbreak of a vaccine-preventable disease in the UK triggers calls for compulsory vaccination. As of April 17, 2013, 808 cases of measles have been reported in the Swansea area, about 10% of which have led to hospital admission. One young adult who died is known to have had measles at the time, but it has not yet been confirmed if he died because of measles. Large outbreaks of measles have also occurred in northern England, with 865 confirmed cases in northwest England. Measles has a case fatality rate of between 1 per 1000 and 1 per 3000 reported measles cases, and unless the outbreaks are brought to a halt, more deaths will result.

Length of publication: 3-page article


Back to basics: the miracle and tragedy of measles vaccine

May 23, 2013

Source: The Lancet, 381 (9876) pp. 1433–1434

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Date of publication: April 2013

Publication Type: Comment

In a nutshell: As we herald progress towards the Millennium Development Goals and strive to meet them, we have an approaching public health target that is sometimes forgotten. The global community has resolved to reduce measles deaths by 95% by 2015, and five of the six WHO regions plan to eliminate measles within this decade. The current outbreak of measles in Swansea, UK, is tragic in many ways, with hundreds of ill children, health staff stretched and working overtime to care for patients and trace contacts, the need for emergency vaccination clinics, and the spectre of death from measles…

Length of publication: 2-page article


Shingles vaccine to be routine for people in their 70s

May 23, 2013

Source: BBC News

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Date of publication: April 2013

Publication Type: News

In a nutshell: People in their 70s across the UK will be offered a vaccine against shingles from this September. Experts have been recommending routine immunisation against the disease, which causes a painful rash, for some years. The government-led programme will target 70, 78 and 79-year-olds in the first instance and should prevent tens of thousands of cases a year. Elderly people are at greatest risk and vaccination should prevent nearly half of cases in the over-70s.

Length of publication: 1-page news item


Small rise in rubella cases triggers warning

May 22, 2013

Source: BMJ, 2013;346:f2935

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Date of publication: May 2013

Publication Type: News

In a nutshell: Last year saw the highest number of rubella cases in England and Wales since 1999. Although numbers are still small there is some concern that the disease could start to circulate more widely.

Length of publication: 1-page news item

Related Story: Wales measles epidemic prompts rubella outbreak warning, BBC News


Measles outbreak: Why now, and who is most at risk

May 22, 2013

Source: Nurse Prescribing, 2013, 11(5), pp. 214 – 216

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Date of publication: May 2013

Publication Type: News Analysis

In a nutshell: Few topics are as divisive as the MMR vaccine versus autism. In recent weeks the latest measles outbreak has received many column inches, and is clear is that there is a very distinct between the pro- and the anti-vaccine camps.  What is surprising is that media reports suggest that it is the better educated middle classes who are more likely to be skeptic…

Length of publication: 3-page article


Swansea measles: Cases rise by 20 to 1,094

May 22, 2013

Source: BBC News

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Date of publication: May 2013

Publication Type: News

In a nutshell: Measles cases in the Swansea epidemic have risen by 20 in the last five days to 1,094 as health chiefs warn the uptake of MMR is too low to eliminate the disease in Wales.

Length of publication: 1-page news item