Immunisation

Improving the uptake of childhood, teenage and adult immunisation is important to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. 

Due to high demand for the flu vaccines this year, GPs and pharmacies might use their vaccine stock quicker than normal. However they should get more stock quickly so please check back with your local pharmacies regularly.  

Please note the flu vaccination won’t protect against COVID-19 but it is critical to protecting the general health of the population, particularly those at high risk.  

Children 

Tower Hamlets is running the annual flu vaccination programme in line with Public Health England’s national flu campaign and will be giving vaccinations either in school or at GP surgeries, depending on the child’s age. All children whose parents agree for them to have the vaccine will be administered by nasal spray.

However, parents who previously declined the nasal spray for their children due to porcine content will now be offered a non-porcine alternative administered by injection, available from mid to late November. Parents who have made their wishes known will be contacted by their GP or school immunisation service.

The flu vaccination is currently being offered to:

  • children aged between 2 and 3
  • all primary school aged children and all year 7 school children
  • children aged 12-17 with a long-term health condition or children who live with someone on the NHS shielding list
  • pregnant women.

Parents of school children will receive a consent form from their child’s school while GP surgeries send out invitations to all other parents of age appropriate children.  

The table shows where the vaccinations will take place: 

Schedule
Age groupWhere to get vaccinated

From 6 months until 2 years (with long-term condition) 

GP surgery

From 2 years until child starts primary school

GP surgery

All children at primary school

School

All year 7 school children

School

Children aged 12 to 17 years (with long-term condition) 

GP surgery

Home-schooled children (aged 4 to 11 years) 

Community clinic

Children who live with someone who is on the NHS Shielded Patient List

GP surgery

All pregnant women

Maternity services, GP surgery or pharmacy

Work we are doing locally to tackle this issue

Public health monitors all of the immunisation programmes delivered locally and works with key stakeholders to develop and promote initiatives to improve services. 

Some initiatives have included:

  • running workshops for parents in the community to promote specific vaccinations
  • a short film on YouTube to promote the MMR for Somali community with English subtitles
  • working closely with GP practice teams and providing regular reports to indicate how well they are performinghttps://youtu.be/Rm6Uq-IHH_E
  • running a key stakeholder meeting to monitor and oversee delivery of this public health programme.

Services

There are a range of vaccination programmes in the national schedule which are delivered in Tower Hamlets:

  • 0- to 5-year-olds – preventing a range of diseases including Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Meningitis, Pneumonia, Rotavirus, Diphtheria, Tetanus, Whooping cough, TB, Polio and Hepatitis B
  • 12- to 13-year-old girls – HPV vaccination to prevent cervical cancer in adulthood
  • 14 - to 15-year-olds – school leavers’ booster to provide further protection from diphtheria /polio and whooping cough (given at secondary schools) and Men ACWY vaccination to prevent Meningitis
  • Pregnant women – who receive the pertussis vaccination to prevent new born infants from contracting whooping cough
  • Over 65yrs, pregnant women and those under 65 with specific medical conditions who receive the seasonal flu vaccination (September to January each year)
  • Pneumococcal vaccination for over 65 years and those under 65 years with chronic health conditions
  • Shingles vaccination for all those reaching 70 years together with a catch-up programme for those in their 70’s

Useful external links