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Parents urged not to forgo vaccinating their children

The number of parents taking their children for routine vaccinations has reduced since the coronavirus outbreak.

The vaccination programme is there to protect the whole community from outbreaks of diseases such as measles and polio.

Director of Public Health Dr Nicola Brink says it's important that parents don't delay taking their youngsters to the doctor.

With concerns over a potential increase in the number of measles cases in the UK, we are being reminded to keep up with our children’s immunisation programmes.

Immunisation clinics are held weekly at Lukis House in Guernsey.

The Health Visiting service have consulted with Public Health and put into place a number of measures to offer a safe service:

 Pre-visit phone call assessments are being undertaken so that all paperwork is completed before the appointment, making the visit to the clinic very quick

 Staff are wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)

 Appointments are being spaced to ensure social distancing can take place

 Parents and their children are being asked to wait in their car and called into the clinic at the appropriate time so they do not need to sit in the waiting room.

Alderney residents are encouraged to speak to their Health Visitor and GP to discuss where their child’s vaccinations will take place as these are provided on an individual basis.

Alex Hawkins-Drew, Head of Public Health Children and Women’s Services, says: ‘We understand that some parents may be anxious about bringing their child to what may appear to be a non-urgent appointment, however childhood immunisations protect against a number of highly contagious diseases.

'The World Health Organisation and Public Health England support the continued provision of immunisation services during the COVID-19 pandemic where services can support this.

'In Guernsey we are in the fortunate situation where were we can continue to provide such an important service and our Health Visiting Team have worked closely with Public Health to adapt their model of delivery to provide extra assurance to our community.’

Debbie Pittman, Service Manager for Child Health said: ‘It is really important that children continue to receive their immunisations as scheduled, despite any other changes in community services.

'The MMR immunisation protects against measles, mumps and rubella. Measles in particular is an extremely nasty illness which can have devastating consequences. Changes have been made to our clinics to ensure that we are providing this service in a safe way. Health Visitors are wearing the appropriate PPE to protect the children and parent, and appointments are spaced to maintain social distancing.

'If parents are concerned or would like more information please contact the Health Visiting Team at Lukis House on tel. 725241.’

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