Vaccines in practice - 2009

An audit of neonatal BCG vaccinations
Rebecca Taylor
pp 1-4
Tuberculosis (TB) is a significant public health problem, both worldwide and within the UK. It caused one in eight deaths in the UK 150 years ago, but numbers fell dramatically through a combination of better housing and nutrition, early detection of the disease with chest X-rays, and Bacillus Calmette- Guérin (BCG) immunisation. The lowest recorded number of cases was in 1987; since then, cases have steadily increased, stabilising in recent years. The majority of cases occur in those born outside the UK. There is also a growing problem with the interaction of TB with HIV infection.
Comment: Constitutional vaccination – a new Statutory Instrument
Peter M English
pp 3-3
It sometimes feels as if the boring, mundane process of vaccination loses out to the drama of high-tech medicine. However, it is usually cheaper and more effective to prevent a disease by vaccination than it is to treat it.
A guide to vaccination injection sites
Linda E Diggle
pp 5-5
When choosing an injection site for immunisation, one first needs to consider which vaccine is to be injected. For some vaccines there is clear evidence, or guidance, as to which site should be used.
Persistence or memory – which is best?
David Gray
pp 6-7
The challenges of HIV and other diseases have moved vaccinology away from its empirical origins into an era in which it is firmly connected to immunological theory. An excellent example of this shift towards theory is the development of conjugate vaccines to Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), Neisseria meningitidis and Streptococcus pneumoniae, all of which work by recruiting helper T-cells to enhance the B-cell antibody response.
Are Patient Group Directions helpful?
Judith Moreton
pp 8-9
In 1998, the legality of the arrangements under which medicines were supplied or administered under group protocols was called into question. In April of that year, an interim report, HSC 1998/051: Report on the supply and administration of medicines under group protocols review of prescribing, supply and administration of medicines, was submitted by the Review Team under the chairmanship of Dr June Crown, leading the Review of Prescribing, Supply and Administration.
Opportunistic vaccination of children
Helen Bedford and David Elliman
pp 10-11
Children who have chronic conditions or have been admitted to hospital are more likely than average to be underimmunised, and are among those most at risk of the adverse effects of vaccine-preventable conditions. Not only is underimmunisation a threat to the child directly concerned, but also to their equally vulnerable peers. Healthcare professionals (HPs) should take advantage of the frequently provided opportunities to ensure that children in their care are fully immunised. Hospital admission should be looked upon as a positive opportunity to immunise patients.