England and Wales: parents urged to keep children vaccinated

The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents councils in England and Wales, has said that a national effort to vaccinate children and young people today will relieve the long-term pressures on health services by avoiding preventable diseases.

Comprehensive expansion of flu vaccination this winter

More than 30 million people in England are to be offered a free flu vaccine this year, described by the government as ‘the most comprehensive flu vaccination programme in the UK’s history’.

News in numbers: July/August 2020

A breakdown of recent community health news, in numbers. Download the PDF, here

News in numbers: May/June 2020

A breakdown of community health news this month, in numbers. Download the PDF, here

Fear of measles outbreak amid Covid-19 pandemic

Measles outbreaks may occur because of the coronavirus pandemic, says Unicef, due to possible disruptions to vaccination services. 

England: jab drives HPV to lowest level in 12 years

Cancer-causing human papillomavirus (HPV) infections are now at a very low level in young, sexually active women in England, following the introduction of the HPV vaccination in 2008.

England: meningococcal vaccine reduces disease by almost two-thirds

Infant vaccination against group B meningococcal disease (MenB) has significantly reduced the number of cases of the disease in young children, research by Public Health England shows.

Australia: Post-vaccination febrile seizures no more serious than other types

Research from the University of Sydney has found the severity of febrile seizures following vaccination is no different from febrile seizures due to other causes, and that the majority of seizures are short-lived, self-resolving and don’t require ongoing treatment.

Northern Ireland: boys to be offered HPV vaccine in bid to fight cancer

Boys aged 12 to 13 in Northern Ireland are to be offered a vaccine to protect them against human papillomavirus (HPV) infections and the associated diseases, the Department of Health (DH) has announced.

Denmark: MMR vaccine does not cause autism: reconfirmed

The measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine does not cause autism, does not trigger autism in susceptible children and is not associated with clustering of cases following vaccination.

UK/Sweden: painkillers in pregnancy do not cause childhood asthma

The risk of children developing asthma does not increase when their mothers take painkillers during pregnancy, a major study has concluded.

Wales: diabetes prevalence reaches 7.4%

The prevalence of diabetes is higher in Wales than any other UK country, new analysis by Diabetes UK Cymru shows.

Clinical: get the message on MS

Multiple sclerosis is one of the most common neurological conditions affecting adults. Changeable yet incurable, it can take years to manifest fully. But children can develop it too, writes journalist John Windell.

England: social media spreads vaccine misinformation

A report from the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) suggests that social media is stoking misplaced fears about vaccines, including concerns over their side effects.

USA: probiotics don’t help children with acute gastroenteritis

A study across 10 paediatric A&E departments found that giving probiotics to children with gastroenteritis did not help their recovery.

A brain under siege

Encephalitis may be rare, but when it strikes it can be devastating, and even deadly – especially for children and young people, writes journalist John Windell.

Switzerland: nose bacteria may dictate speed of babies’ recovery from their first cold

Babies with a wide variety of different bacteria living in their noses tend to recover more quickly from their first respiratory virus compared with those who have less variety, say researchers.

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