Jab scheme aims to increase vaccinations take up in Hartlepool

Rossmere Children's Centre was the setting for an immunisation event for pre-school children.
Rossmere Children's Centre was the setting for an immunisation event for pre-school children.

A HEALTH scheme is aiming to boost uptake of childhood immunisations.

A two-day event last month has been deemed a success as it kick-started a raft of initiatives

Rossmere Children's Centre was the setting for an immunisation event for pre-school children. Lucy Readhead, aged two from Seaton Carew, has her face painted at the event.

Rossmere Children's Centre was the setting for an immunisation event for pre-school children. Lucy Readhead, aged two from Seaton Carew, has her face painted at the event.

The event was held at Rossmere Children’s Centre in Hartlepool and activities included face painting, cooking sessions, badge-making, and appearances from Frozen’s Elsa and Anna.

Health workers were on hand to answer any questions and bust myths about kids’ vaccinations during the event which was organised jointly by Hartlepool Borough Council and local NHS screening and immunisation team.

Deborah Clark, a health improvement practitioner at Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “The two sessions were very successful with more than fifty people attending.

“ We were able to inform parents about the schedule of vaccinations that is available, including the new flu vaccine.

“We were also able to reassure parents about potential side effects of vaccinations.

“We launched a new leaflet on the day to remind parents that immunisation is the most important way of protecting their child from potentially life-threatening diseases and parents said they really valued the information it contained.

“The event was intended to kick-start a raft of initiatives to improve the uptake of childhood immunisations. As part of this work we will be offering training to GP practices and Hartlepool Children’s Centres.”

Routine vaccinations are offered free to all babies and children in the UK, which help protect them from catching a range of potentially serious, even fatal, diseases, such as meningitis C and measles, mumps and rubella (MMR).

Health chiefs say vaccinations are the safest way to protect your child from potentially life-threatening diseases, but the Hartlepool area has lower than the national average uptake for childhood immunisation.