The impact of meningitis vaccines and their future role

May 6, 2016

Source: Prescriber, 2016, 27 (3), pp. 37-41

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Date of publication: March 2016

Publication Type: Analysis

In a nutshell: The success of the meningococcal group A (MenA) vaccination in the African meningitis belt, public support for the extension of the MenB vaccination in the UK and the importance of vaccination in the fight against antimicrobial resistance all endorse the need for additional meningitis vaccines in the future.

Length of publication: 5 page article


Updates to the UK child and adolescent vaccination schedule

May 6, 2016

Source: Nurse Prescribing, 2016, 14 (3), pp. 120-125

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Date of publication: March 2016

Publication Type: Journal Article

In a nutshell: After clean water, immunisation is the most effective public health intervention for the prevention of disease and an important component of the Healthy Child Programme (HCP) (Department of Health (DH), 2009). Nurses working in primary care should be trusted and key sources of advice for parents on the childhood immunisation programme, but keeping up to date can prove challenging in view of frequent changes to the schedule. This article describes the most recent changes, including the introduction of meningococcal B and ACWY vaccines to the schedule and the extension of the influenza vaccine to some older children. The success of the rotavirus programme is described and continuing issues for the maternal pertussis and influenza vaccine programmes are discussed. In addition, possible future changes to the human papillomavirus and hepatitis B programmes are outlined.

Length of publication: 6 page article


Meningitis B vaccine calls rejected despite petition

May 5, 2016

Source: BBC News

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Date of publication: March 2016

Publication Type: News

In a nutshell: Offering the meningitis B vaccine to all children is “not cost effective” and would be a waste of NHS money, the UK government says. Public support for extending the vaccine grew after the mother of two-year-old Faye Burdett shared pictures of her dying from the infection. The jab is offered to children in their first year of life. But more than 800,000 people signed a petition for it to be given to all children under 11.

Length of publication: 1 page news story


Immunising hard to reach children and young people

February 15, 2016

Source: British Journal of School Nursing, 10 (10), pp. 486-488, December 2015/January 2016

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Date of publication: December 2015

Publication Type: Journal Article

In a nutshell: School nurses can play an important role in reducing health inequalities by improving immunisation uptake among hard to reach children and young people. This article looks at some of the evidence, best practice and areas which need to be addressed.

Length of publication: 3 pages


The effect of sucrose as pain relief/comfort during immunisation of 15-month-old children in health care centres: a randomised controlled trial

February 15, 2016

Source: Journal of Clinical Nursing, 25 (3-4), pp. 372–380, February 2016

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Date of publication: January 2016

Publication Type: Journal Article

In a nutshell: Aims and objectives: To investigate the effect of 30% sucrose compared with a placebo (water) as pain relief and comfort during immunisation of 15-month-old children in health care centres. Background: Children experience different levels of pain and distress during immunisation. Sweet solutions function as pain relief during immunisation for infants up to one year of age. However, there are few studies of older children. Design: An experimental design in which the participants (15-month-old infants) were randomly assigned to an intervention group that received a 30% sugar solution or a control group that received a placebo (water). Methods: The study was performed at three health care centres in a large Norwegian municipality. The parents of all 15-month-old infants who were recommended for vaccination (for measles, mumps and rubella) between 5 September 2013 and 31 March 2014 were invited to have their infant participate. Duration of crying was the outcome measure. Results: A total of 114 children were included (59 in the intervention group, 55 in the control group). The intervention group infants’ crying was shorter (18 seconds mean) compared with the control group infants (33 seconds mean). The difference in crying duration between the groups was both statistically and clinically significant. Conclusion: This trial revealed that 30% sucrose orally has a calming and pain-relieving effect on 15-month-old infants during immunisation. Relevance to clinical practice: Public health nurses should use a 30% sucrose solution for pain relief during immunisation of 15-month-old infants.

Length of publication: 9 pages


Should the UK introduce a universal childhood varicella vaccination programme?

December 21, 2015

Source: Archives of Diseases in Childhood, 2016, 101 (1), pp. 2-3

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Date of publication: December 2015

Publication Type: Editorial

In a nutshell: Primary varicella infection (chickenpox) is common in the UK with over three-quarters of parents reporting a history of chickenpox in their children by 5 years of age. Following primary infection, the varicella zoster virus (VZV) remains dormant in the dorsal root ganglia and reactivates in later life following a decline in cell-mediated immunity to cause herpes zoster or shingles (HZ). Although chickenpox is generally mild and self-limiting in healthy children, secondary bacterial infections, pneumonia and neurological complications can occur. The risk of severe chickenpox is higher in immunocompromised individuals, pregnant women and neonates, although most hospitalisations for severe complications are in previously healthy children. Shingles is a potentially debilitating condition, which results in a greater burden and quality of life loss than chickenpox. The incidence of shingles and the risk of post herpetic neuralgia increase with age.

Length of publication: 2 pages


Enter B and W: two new meningococcal vaccine programmes launched

December 21, 2015

Source: Archives of Diseases in Childhood, 2016, 101 (1), pp. 91-95

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Date of publication: October 2015

Publication Type: Review

In a nutshell: In 2015, the UK became the first country in the world to have a comprehensive routine meningococcal vaccine programme targeting all of the main capsular groups of N. meningitidis. 1 An infant vaccine programme against meningococcal capsular group B Neisseria meningitidis (MenB) was launched from 1st September with an aim to reduce endemic MenB disease in early childhood. On 1st August 2015, an adolescent programme against groups A, C, W and Y meningococci (MenACWY) was rolled out to halt a growing outbreak of capsular group W disease (MenW) caused by a hypervirulent clone of N. meningitidis, in addition to maintaining control against MenC disease provided by the current adolescent programme.

Length of publication: 5 page article