Meningitis Now staff - Mark Hunt

Is the uptake of meningitis vaccines on the decline?

Mark Hunt | 25th October 2019

The National Audit Office (NAO) has today published its report into its investigation into why vaccine uptake amongst pre-school children has declined

The National Audit Office's report on vaccine decline

The report, which was commissioned by the Department of Health & Social Care (DHSC), is inconclusive and there isn’t any one factor that can be attributed to the decline. 

It does however highlight that the changes made in the health system in 2013 have led to a fragmentation in vaccine delivery with responsibility for vaccination notifications moving from primary care trusts to the NHS and GPs. This, they state, has led to inconsistencies in how the system works in different parts of the country.

Of the decline in childhood vaccination, data shows that vaccines to protect against meningitis are down on average by 0.5% and whilst this is considerably less than other diseases types we are urging parents not to be complacent and ensure that their children receive all the vaccines they are scheduled to receive.

Dr Tom Nutt, our CEO said “Parents really do need to understand the risk they are taking with their children's lives when they choose not to get them vaccinated and wake up to the simple fact that vaccines save lives. They also need to know that being vaccinated makes a valuable contribution to the safety and wellbeing of other children by building immunity in the communities where they live. We will be asking the DHSC to share further information around the change in the vaccine delivery system and what can be done to improve this moving forward”.

Download the full report.

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