Vaccines in practice - 2010

Invasive pneumococcal disease: vaccine coverage
Kordo Saeed, Matthew Dryden, Catherine Paget and Alistair Proud
pp 1-4
Streptococcus pneumoniae remains the commonest cause of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) and is a leading cause of bacteraemia and meningitis. Vaccination aims to reduce this burden. The pneumococcal vaccine, containing purified polysaccharide from 23 capsular types (PPV23), is recommended for the elderly, as it has been demonstrated to prevent invasive pneumococcal disease. Studies suggest that the overall efficacy of this vaccine is 50–70%. This level of protection can be improved by offering conjugate vaccines, currently licensed for children.
Comment: Working to improve uptake
Peter M English
pp 3-3
In this edition of Vaccines in practice, we have several articles regarding the process of vaccination. How good are we at doing what we are trying to do? How can we improve the uptake of vaccination? What are the barriers to improving uptake, and how can they be overcome?
Vaccination and Immunisation National Support Team: improving uptake
Marilena Korkodilos and Marcia Perry
pp 5-6
Immunisation plays a critical role in preventing diseases that can kill or cause serious long-term ill health, and in helping people lead healthier lives. Childhood immunisation is included in tier 2 of the ‘Vital Signs’ national priorities for local implementation, and is an important part of the ‘Healthy Child’ programme.
Are we meeting targets for neonatal hepatitis B vaccination?
Elizabeth Boxall
pp 6-7
The Health Protection Agency (HPA) Conference in 2008 marked the tenth anniversary of Department of Health guidance that recommended: the offer of antenatal screening for hepatitis B to all pregnant women and vaccination with a four-dose schedule for the babies of those mothers found to be infected with hepatitis B.
Case study: influenza immunisation for healthcare workers in East Cheshire
Richard Preece
pp 8-9
During the 2009–10 winter vaccination campaign, unprecedented rates of influenza immunisation for healthcare workers were achieved. Rates varied markedly between general hospital trusts and were 2–68% for swine influenza and 0–64.9% for seasonal influenza.
The challenging effect of vaccine compensation on immunisation fears
Michael Fitzpatrick
pp 10-11
Schemes for compensating victims of vaccine damage may have the paradoxical effect of undermining public support for childhood immunisation. The principle that individuals who suffer long-term disability as a result of vaccinations should receive recognition and compensation is widely accepted. Yet, at a time when the incidence of such disability has become negligible, the very existence of such programmes has the effect of encouraging popular anxieties about vaccination, promoted by antivaccination campaigners, personal injury lawyers and professional expert witnesses.