Hackney parents urged to keep up with immunisations amid coronavirus pandemic - as take up goes down by a third

Parents have been urged to keep up with immunisations amid the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: Hackne

Parents have been urged to keep up with immunisations amid the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: Hackney Council - Credit: Hackney Council

Parents are being urged to keep up to date with their children’s vaccinations during the coronavirus pandemic since uptake went down by over a third since lockdown.

According to data from the Hackney’s GP record system, immunisation consultations at practices in City and Hackney during March and April decreased by 37.6 per cent compared to the same time last year.

Hackney Council has warned low take up poses a “significant risk” to children’s health, as vaccination gives protection from several diseases that cannot be prevented by social distancing, some of which are potentially life threatening.

Dr Suki Francis, a GP and clinical lead for children and young people at City and Hackney Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We know that there is a drop in the number of children getting vaccinated and we are really worried that this could lead to a resurgence of these preventable diseases which can be distressing and sometimes have catastrophic consequences for children.

“We understand parents are worried about bringing their babies into surgeries, but we want to reassure them that all GP surgeries in City and Hackney are open, safe and available for all of our patients.

“We are doing telephone consultations for everyone initially before bringing patients in and taking all the infection control measures to ensure that staff and patients are safe.

“Your GP, nurse and health visitor want to hear from you if you have any concerns or worries so please contact them and do not delay getting help and getting your child vaccinated.”

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Local health professionals want parents and carers to contact their GPs as soon as possible to book in and attend appointments for baby health checks and immunisations.

To make it easier for parents and carers of new babies during the pandemic, babies can now be registered with the family GP without a birth certificate over the phone.

The NHS is working to address concerns that parents may have about coronavirus, with GP surgeries ensuring that those with coronavirus symptoms are in a separate area of the practice to those who are there for routine appointments.