NHS England and Oxfordshire’s healthcare partners are urging people to attend regular vaccination appointments to prevent outbreaks of potentially deadly diseases and reduce pressure on the health service.
While preventing the spread of Covid-19 is a public health priority, it is still vital that members of the public go to scheduled vaccination appointments to stop outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases and to protect vulnerable groups including children, babies and pregnant women.
As long as those attending appointments, including parents of babies or children, do not have symptoms or are not self-isolating because someone in the household is displaying symptoms, all scheduled vaccinations should go ahead as normal.
Dr Kiren Collision, GP and Clinical Chair of Oxfordshire CCG said: “We are doing all that we can to ensure that practices are safe for people to get their immunisations.
“Having a vaccine is really important; it can prevent outbreaks of serious diseases and also protect vulnerable groups of people.”
The national immunisation programme is highly successful in reducing the number of serious and sometimes life-threatening diseases such as whooping cough, diphtheria and measles.
It is important to maintain the best possible vaccine uptake to prevent a resurgence of these infections.
When attending appointments, people should follow government guidance and ensure they are two metres apart from anyone outside their household and minimise time spent outside.
If a patient or a member of their household develops coronavirus symptoms, they should follow government guidance and reschedule their appointment.
Ansaf Azhar is the Director for Public Health at Oxfordshire County Council: ‘I would like to reassure parents that these immunisations are available to maintain the health and well-being of your children. Please, do not ignore these appointments. Right now, the government has issued social distancing rules that include: we’re only allowed to go outside for essential travel. Attending the immunisation appointment for medical care is classed as essential travel, so you will be welcome to attend’.
If individuals or members of a household need advice from a GP practice about symptoms not related to coronavirus, they should contact the practice online or by phone to be assessed.