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MMR and hepatitis B vaccines must increase

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NHS vaccination programmes against measles and hepatitis B in the under-19 age group must be expanded, says the NICE.

NICE reports that uptake of the triple measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine is too low, and that babies born to mothers who are hepatitis B-positive are seriously at risk.

Professor Mike Kelly, NICE public-health director says: “These babies are at risk of infection and serious illness, and implementing a follow-up vaccination programme to help prevent hepatitis B infection will not only have positive health benefits for the child, but save the NHS money in the future.”

There have been outbreaks of measles across the UK even as health authorities seek to achieve “herd immunity” with a 95% vaccination rate for MMR, he says.

He recommends ensuring that primary care trusts and GPs share vaccination information, and that surgeries check patient records to ensure that childhood vaccinations are up-to-date.

In addition longer appointment times should also be introduced as well as extended hours, mobile services and walk-in vaccination clinics.

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