Parents urged to continue to attend immunisation appointments for young children during the COVID-19 lockdown

Public Health Wales is reminding parents of the importance of young children continuing to attend for their routine immunisations when invited.

This is vital in preventing outbreaks of serious childhood diseases including whooping cough and measles.

Dr Richard Roberts, Head of the Vaccine Preventable Diseases Programme at Public Health Wales said: “It’s important that parents continue to bring their children for immunisation appointments when invited, and complete their immunisations on time.

“Our childhood immunisation programme is crucial in protecting children from serious disease including pertussis (whooping cough), measles, meningitis and pneumonia.”

Dr Roberts continues: “Immunisation programmes prevent avoidable GP appointments and hospital admissions because of vaccine-preventable diseases. Keeping children out of hospital is especially important during our response to COVID-19.

“Therefore I am urging the parents and carers of infants and pre-school children, and all pregnant women to please continue to attend their routine immunisation sessions when contacted by their general practice or child health clinic.

“Social distancing measures are in place to protect you and the nursing staff that administer the vaccines and appropriate infection control procedures are being followed.

“Your local health visitor will be able to offer advice and support for parents, and pregnant women can obtain advice on immunisation from their midwife.” 

Professor Sally Holland, Children’s Commissioner for Wales, added: “These are strange and uncertain times for us all, but one thing remains unchanged: the health and wellbeing of our children must remain a priority.

“Although services may look different and the way we access those services will look and feel different, they’re still there to help protect us. I’d encourage all parents and carers to access those, in line with government social distancing rules, to ensure that all our children, despite what’s happening across the world currently, have the very best start in life.”