Jump in winter deaths last year is blamed on ineffective flu vaccine

November 30, 2015

Source: BMJ, 2015;351:h6392

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Date of publication: November 2015

Publication Type: News

In a nutshell: Excess deaths in England and Wales in 2014-15 were the highest for 15 years, the Office for National Statistics has reported, largely because of an ineffective flu vaccine.

Length of publication: 1 page

What determines uptake of pertussis vaccine in pregnancy? A cross sectional survey in an ethnically diverse population of pregnant women in London

November 17, 2015

Source: Vaccine, 33 (43), 26 October 2015, pp. 5822–5828

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Date of publication: October 2015

Publication Type: Journal Article

In a nutshell: Highlights: Uptake of pertussis vaccine in pregnancy in our population was only 26%; Although nationally recommended, only 63% of pregnant women interviewed were even aware of the pertussis vaccination programme; Lack of encouragement from healthcare professionals was identified as the main reason; 91% of women believed healthcare professionals need to become more engaged in providing timely information about vaccines in pregnancy.

Length of publication: 6 page article

Meningitis B vaccine offered to all babies from September

June 25, 2015

Source: BBC News

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Date of publication: June 2015

Publication Type: News

In a nutshell: All newborn babies in England and Scotland are to be offered a vaccine to combat meningitis B from September, the government has announced. The Men B vaccine will be given to babies at two months, four months and 12 months old. The scheme, which has been delayed by cost disputes, is the first national and publicly-funded programme against the deadly infection in the world.

Length of publication: 1-page article

Morbidly obese in England could get free flu jab

March 31, 2015

Source: BBC News

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Date of publication: March 2015

Publication Type: News Story

In a nutshell: Morbidly obese people in England should be given a free flu jab on the NHS each year, say government advisers. Public Health England and the government’s vaccine advisory committee are in agreement that obesity poses enough of a health threat to consider including it as one of the “at risk” groups routinely offered the vaccine. It would put obesity in the same league as asthma, diabetes and heart disease. The government is yet to announce whether it will act on the advice.

Length of publication: 1-page news story

Uptake of the HPV vaccination programme in England: a cross-sectional survey of young women attending sexual health services

May 29, 2014

Source: Sexually Transmitted infections, 2014; 90(3); 315-321

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Date of publication: May 2014

Publication Type: Journal Article

In a nutshell: Objectives The UK human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccination programme requires 80% uptake to have a significant impact on cervical cancer rates. Uptake in the first three years of the programme was 66%. We report the results of a cross-sectional survey of young women attending sexual health services (SHS) in England, reviewing HPV vaccination uptake and prevalence of HPV-related risk factors.

Methods An anonymous questionnaire surveyed women aged 13–19 attending 19 hospital-based and 13 community-based SHS across England, March–August 2011. Data were analysed using multiple logistic regression.

Results 2247 questionnaires were completed. Compared with national data, respondents had higher smoking rates (48% vs 14% of 15 year olds), coitarche under-16 (52% vs 38%), previous sexually transmitted infections (STIs) (25% vs 4%) and a higher proportion not in education, employment or training (NEETs) (8% vs 2% of 16 year olds).

Seventy-four per cent had been offered the vaccination, with significantly lower offer rates in London, non-white ethnicities, 17–19 year olds, NEETs, smokers and those with previous STIs (all p<0.05 in multivariate analysis). Sixty-five per cent of those offered, completed, with significantly lower completion rates in London, non-white ethnicities, 17–19 year olds, NEETs, smokers and those with previous STIs (all p<0.05 in multivariate analysis). Overall completion rate was 47%.

Conclusions We observed lower vaccination offer and completion rates and higher prevalence of HPV-related risk factors compared with national data. The highest risk individuals were the least likely to have been offered or to have completed the course. This survey highlights an opportunity for primary prevention by routinely offering the HPV vaccine to eligible women attending SHS.

Length of publication: 6-page article.

The national flu immunisation programme 2014/15

May 29, 2014

Source: Department of Health

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Date of publication: April 2014

Publication Type: Letter

In a nutshell: This letter supports local planning to ensure good levels of flu immunisation which is one of the most effective interventions we can make to reduce harm from flu and pressures on health and social care services during the winter..

Length of publication: 28-page document.

Hospital admission rates for meningitis and septicaemia caused by Haemophilus influenzae, Neisseria meningitidis, and Streptococcus pneumoniae in children in England over five decades: a population-based observational study

April 25, 2014

Source: The Lancet Infectious Diseases, 14( 5), 397 – 405

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Date of publication: May 2015

Publication Type: Article

In a nutshell:  Background

Infection with Haemophilus influenzae, Neisseria meningitidis, and Streptococcus pneumoniae causes substantial mortality and long-term morbidity in children. We know of no study to assess the long-term trends in hospital admission rates for meningitis and septicaemia caused by these pathogens in children in England. We aimed to do such a study using routinely reported data in England.


In this population-based observational study, we used datasets that include routinely collected administrative statistics for hospital care: the Hospital In-Patient Enquiry (data for England from 1968 to 1985), the Hospital Episode Statistics dataset (data for England from 1989 onwards), and the Oxford record linkage study (data for Oxfordshire and surrounding areas from 1963 to 2011). We analysed annual age-specific and age-standardised admission rates in children younger than 15 years with H influenzae, meningococcal and pneumococcal meningitis, and septicaemia.


We saw a reduction in hospital admission rates for childhood invasive bacterial disease after the introduction of conjugate vaccines against H influenzae, N meningitidis, and S pneumoniae in England. Annual incidence of H influenzae meningitis per 100 000 children decreased from 6·72 admissions (95% CI 6·18—7·26) in 1992 to 0·39 admissions (0·26—0·52) in 1994, after the introduction of routine H influenzae type b vaccination. We saw a small rise in admissions in the early 2000s, peaking at 1·24 admissions per 100 000 children (0·99—1·48) in 2003, which decreased to 0·28 per 100 000 children (0·17—0·39) by 2008 after the introduction of catch-up (2003) and routine (2006) booster programmes for young children. Meningococcal disease increased during the 1990s, reaching a peak in 1999, with 34·54 admissions (33·30—35·78) per 100 000 children. Hospital admissions decreased after the meningococcal serogroup C vaccine was introduced in 1999 and was 12·40 admissions (11·68—13·12) per 100 000 in 2011. Admissions for invasive pneumococcal disease increased from the 1990s reaching a peak in 2006 at 4·45 admissions for meningitis (95% CI 4·0—4·9) per 100 000 children and 2·81 admissions for septicaemia (2·45—3·17) per 100 000 children. A reduction in admissions occurred after the introduction of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in 2006: hospital admission rates in 2011 were 2·03 per 100 000 children for meningitis and 1·12 per 100 000 children for septicaemia.


Vaccine-preventable invasive bacterial disease in children has decreased substantially in England in the past five decades, most notably with the advent of effective conjugate vaccines since the 1990s. Ongoing disease surveillance and continued development and implementation of vaccines against additional pneumococcal serotypes and serogroup B meningococcal disease are important.

Length of publication: 9-page article.