Health Protection Agency publishes report on the benefits of vaccination to children's health

The Health Protection Agency today publishes its first national report on the current status of the UK’s universal vaccine programmes, which protect children against a range of childhood diseases including measles, mumps, rubella and meningitis.

The report, “Protecting the health of England’s children; the benefit of vaccines”, sets out for the first time in one comprehensive publication, the work done by the Agency’s Centre for Infections (CfI) in surveillance and research into vaccine-preventable diseases in England and Wales. It also provides detailed information and data on the different diseases against which the routine national childhood vaccination programme currently offers protection.

Professor Elizabeth Miller, Head of the Agency’s Immunisation Department said, "The use of vaccines has been the main and most effective method of reducing the incidence of serious disease in children. This is evident in the massive reduction in both cases of, and deaths from, diseases such as meningococcal serogroup C, measles, whooping cough and tetanus since the start of the routine childhood immunisation programme. This report describes the role of the Agency in the control of vaccine preventable diseases and undertaking research that contributes to the development of new vaccines."

Professor Pat Troop, the Health Protection Agency's Chief Executive, said, "Children are more at risk from infections and suffer more from health inequalities than the rest of the population. That is why the role of vaccines in reducing diseases is such an important part of protecting and improving the health of children. I commend this report to both the public and professionals, as an important source of information on immunisation, and the risks to health that vaccinations can prevent.”

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