Why is it an issue?
All children in the UK are offered vaccinations against key diseases, as part of the national childhood immunisation schedule. Vaccinations can prevent children from getting serious diseases that can kill or cause long-term health problems. Vaccinated babies are much less likely to suffer the devastating consequences of disease.
The same principles apply to older adults with the seasonal influenza vaccination. New flu vaccines are released every year to keep up with rapidly adapting flu viruses. Because flu viruses evolve so quickly, last year’s vaccine will not fully protect you from the current year’s viruses.
What’s the local picture and how do we compare?
How do we compare?
- The percentage uptake of first dose of Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine by 2 years is higher than the national average (91.2% compared to 88.2%) and the percentage uptake by 5 years again significantly exceeds the national average (94.7% compared to 91.0%) (HPA Area Profiles, 2010).
- The percentage uptake of a second dose of Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine by 5 years is also significantly higher than that of the national average (88.5% compared to 82.7%) (HPA Area Profiles, 2010).
- Three year average of the number of confirmed cases of measles per 100,000 population is below the national average (1.65 per 100,000 compared to 2.14), though no significantly so (HPA Area Profiles, 2010).
- The percentage uptake of the pneumococcal vaccine in persons aged 65 years and older is significantly lower than national rates (58.2% compared to 69%) (HPA Area Profiles, 2010).
- The percentage uptake of the seasonal flu vaccine in at risk groups is roughly similar to that of national rates (51.3% compared to 51.6%) (HPA Area Profiles, 2010).
- The percentage uptake of all 3 doses of Human Papillomavirus vaccine by girls aged 12-13 years is also significantly higher than the national average (84.0% compared to 76.4%) (HPA Area Profiles, 2010).
What’s the trend and what can we predict?
- The percentage uptake of first dose of Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine by 2 years has improved massively over the last 4 financial years, rising from 83.8% to 91.2%. This represents a movement from being significantly below the national rate to significantly above the national rate (MMR Trend Analysis, 2011).
- Although improvements have been seen at a national and regional level, the rate of local improvement in this measure has outstripped those macro improvements (MMR Trend Analysis, 2011).
- The percentage uptake of a first dose of Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine by 5 years continues to improve, significantly above that of the national rate (MMR Trend Analysis, 2011).
- That pattern is also reflected in the percentage uptake of a second dose of Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine by 5 years (MMR Trend Analysis, 2011).
- The percentage uptake of a dose of Whooping Cough vaccine by 1 year has also improved from 90.4% in 2006-07 to 96.3% in 2009-10. This represents an increase that now places this measure significantly above the national rate (Whooping Cough Trend Analysis, 2011).
- We need to maintain and build upon these impressive figures.
What are we doing and what can be done differently?
The Chief Medical Officer has set targets for uptake of influenza vaccination as follows:
- To reach or exceed 75% uptake for people aged 65 years and over
- To reach or exceed 75% uptake for people under age 65 with clinical conditions. A reasonable trajectory for increases in uptake in clinical risk groups and pregnant women is 60% in 2011/12, 70% in 2012/13 so that 75% can be reached in 2013/14
NHS Wakefield District has developed a performance management approach to improve uptake amongst these target groups. This includes:
- Performance & Trajectory Spreadsheet for GP practices, including GP Practice Performance. This enables individual practices to plan for the targets
- Practice Visits to explore how they can increase uptake and ensure robust data is used to monitor
- Monthly updates on how we are performing against the vaccination targets
- Debrief and programme planning workshops for all practices
- A communications plan to promote influenza vaccinations to the public and staff
- Coordinating any influenza vaccine shortage issues across the district
- With the aim of Improve access to vaccination, the community pharmacy vaccination scheme has been rolled out more widely. In 2012/12 14 community pharmacies will be providing vaccinations for patients and for healthcare workers that meet specific criteria.