Vaccinations & Immunisations

Shingles Immunisation

Shingles isnt like other infection diseases because you dont catch it from someone else. Most of us had chickenpox when we were young, although some of us will not be awar that weve had it. If you did have it, then the virus that caused it can stay in your body for the rest of your life without ou knowing it is there. If the virus reactivates it causes a disease called shingles.

Shingles can be very painful and tends to affect people more commonly as they get older. And the older you are, the worse it can be.,For some, the pain can last for many years. There is now a vaccine that helps reduce your risk of getting shingles and reduces the severity of symptoms if you develop the disease.

By having the vaccination you will significantly reduce your chance of developing shingles. And if you do go on to have shingles the symptoms may be milder and the illness shorter, then if you had not had the vaccination.

Shingles Vaccination clinics are in the process of being arranged. All patients within the agreed cohorts will receive a formal communication inviting them to attend these sessions.

MenB Immunisation

Babies will be offered the MenB vaccine with the other routine vaccinations at two months, four months and 12 months of age. Vaccinating babies at these times helps protect them when they are most at risk of developing MenB disease.

Using Paracetamol to prevent fever in babies after the MenB vaccination

Fever can be expected after any vaccination, but it is more common when the MenB vaccine is given with the other routine vaccines at two and four months. The fever shows the baby’s body is responding to the vaccine, although not getting a fever doesnt mean it hasnt worked. Giving Paracetamol will reduce the risk of fever after vaccination. Your nurse will give you more information about paracetamol at your vaccination appointment.

Infant paracetamol should be on your essential shopping list in preparation for your baby’s arrival. If you do not have any paracetamol liquid for infants at home you should get some from your local pharmacy or supermarket ready for your two month vaccination visit.

MenB Disease

MenB disease is a serious illness caused by the ‘B’ strains of meningococcal bacteria. These bacteria are a major cause of meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord) and septicaemia (blood poisoning) in your children.

The MenB Vaccine

This vaccine is being offered in addition to the MenC vaccine which is given at three months of age and which has been very successful at protecting children against MenC disease but does not protect against other strains of meningococcal bacteria. The MenB vaccine will not protect against other bacteria and viruses that can cause meningitis and septicaemia. So it you are at all concerned about your baby at any time, then trust your instincts and speak to your GP or call 111.

Further information can be found in the leaflets below:

MenACWY Immunisation

Meningococcal bacteria can cause meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain) and septicaemia (blood poisoning). Both diseases are very serious and can kill, especially if not diagnosed early.

The early symptoms of meningococcal disease are similar to those of flu, so you need to be able to recognise the symptoms very quickly (even if you have been vaccinated, the vaccines offered through the routine immunisation programme do not protect against all forms of the disease).

It is recommended that all teenagers in school years 10 to 13 have the MenACWY vaccination before or soon after they leave school. With so many pupils to vaccinate, the programme will be rolled out gradually, with year 13 pupils offered the vaccine first. These older teenagers are at greatest risk of the disease especially when starting university where they will come into contact with many new people of a similar age. In addition, all year 9 students (and year 10 students in some areas) will be offered the MenACWY vaccine routinely instead of the MenC vaccine.

Further information can be found in the leaflet below:

Pertussis Immunisation

What is the problem?

You may have thought whooping cough had died out but the number of cases in England and Wales started to increase from late 2011 and in 2012 there were ten times as many cases as would be expected in a peak year of disease. Of particular concern was the rising number of cases in young babies who are at highest risk of severe complications.

To protect their babies from this serious disease all pregnant women are being offered the whooping cough vaccine. This programme has been in place since 1 October 2012 and has already been effective at protecting babies until they can have their first vaccination at two months of age.

Getting vaccinated from week 20 of your pregnancy will help protect your baby.

Why should I be concerned?

Whooping cough is a serious disease that can lead to pneumonia and permanent brain damage. Most babies with whooping cough will be admitted to hospital and they are at risk of dying from the disease. Deaths from whooping cough are rare in the UK but more babies died during the outbreak in 2012 than in any other recent year.

Whooping cough is a serious disease that can lead to permanent brain damage in young infants.

But aren’t babies vaccinated to protect them against diseases?

Yes they are, but the babies that have been getting whooping cough are generally too young to have started their normal vaccinations so they are not protected against the disease. Babies’ immune systems take time to make good responses to the vaccine and they need three doses to build up full protection.

So how can I protect my baby?

The only way you can help protect your baby against whooping cough in its first weeks after birth is by having the whooping cough vaccination yourself while you are pregnant. You will then pass some immunity to your baby before he or she is born. The best time to get vaccinated is between weeks 28 and 32 of your pregnancy but you can still have the vaccination up to week 38.

You should have the vaccination even if you were vaccinated when you were younger or had whooping cough yourself. If you have missed the vaccine during your pregnancy talk to your GP.

Are we the only country to have this problem and to have the vaccination in pregnancy?

A number of countries are experiencing a similar problem including the USA which has seen rising numbers of cases and deaths in young children. The USA and New Zealand also recommend that women are vaccinated whilst they are pregnant and no risks to pregnancy have been found.

But is it safe to have the vaccine whilst pregnant?

There are no safety concerns related to having the vaccine during pregnancy. You may have some mild side effects from the vaccine that are common for all patients, such as swelling, redness or tenderness where the vaccine is given in your upper arm. Serious side effects are extremely rare.

What do I need to do now to help protect my baby?

If you are in week 14 or more of your pregnancy, your regular GP or midwife will arrange an appointment for you to have the vaccination. If you are in the earlier stages of pregnancy, wait until you hear from us.