Agenda item

LLR Vaccination & Immunisation Programme.


The Committee received a joint presentation from the Director of Public Health, Leicestershire County Council and Kay Darby, Chief Nursing Officer, Integrated Care Board. A copy of the presentation slides is filed with these minutes.


Arising from discussions the following points were noted:


(i)           Members raised concerns about vaccine weariness and the level of complacency amongst the public regarding some diseases, particularly measles. A member questioned whether the health system was being proactive enough in encouraging people to be vaccinated and countering disinformation about vaccines that was being spread. In response reassurance was given with regards to tackling concerns some people had about vaccines that webinars took place to educate people. So far webinars had mostly been held when there had been specific outbreaks, but these webinars could be expanded more generally. The Cabinet Lead Member for Health emphasised the importance of vaccinations and recommended that if anybody had concerns about vaccines they should discuss it with their GP or another health professional.


(ii)         During the Covid-19 pandemic there had been an issue with some NHS staff refusing to get vaccinated due to concerns about the vaccine’s safety and members queried whether this issue had spread to vaccines for other diseases as well. In response it was explained that this was mainly a Covid specific issue and reassurance was given that Occupational Health Screenings were carried out on NHS staff which involved encouraging them to get vaccinated.


(iii)        Some communities in Leicestershire did not come forward for vaccinations as much as others and work was taking place to target those communities where vaccination numbers were lower. Public engagement events were taking place at shopping centres, carparks and GP Practices and there was a mobile vaccination vehicle which travelled around the county. However, before the vehicle visited particular locations, messages needed to be sent out in advance to make the public aware and provide reassurance. There was a role to be played here by community champions such as Local Area Co-ordinators. Positive messages about vaccines also needed to come from within communities and from community leaders as they would be more persuasive.


(iv)       Schools had an important role to play in educating people about vaccines and immunisations. The County Council’s Public Health department ran the Leicestershire Healthy Schools Programme and the Teen Health 11-19 Service, and the Director of Public Health agreed to check whether vaccine awareness was covered as part of these programmes.


(v)         A member suggested that the ability of schools to send text messages to parents should be used to spread messages about outbreaks and vaccinations. It was noted that GP Practices also sent text messages out particularly in relation to the MMR vaccine and more use could be made of this.


(vi)       It was hoped that in the future community pharmacists could play a greater role with vaccinations, and this was part of the NHS Vaccination Strategy, though a lot of work at a national level would have to take place to make this possible for example changing the contracts pharmacists were on.


(vii)      A member queried whether the dangers of the Human papillomavirus (HPV) and the availability of the HPV vaccine were being sufficiently publicised. In response some reassurance was given that it was covered in schools. An HPV awareness video was being recorded by a local GP and 2 students at Beauchamp college on 11th March. The video would be uploaded to You Tube and a member suggested it should also be shown at GP Practices. It was agreed that further consideration would be given to this.


(viii)    In response to a question about vaccinating adults against measles, it was explained that it was assumed that most of the older population would have immunity but the messaging to adults was that if they were not sure they should get vaccinated.


(ix)       In response to a suggestion that the Vaccination and Immunisation Programme should be covered at a meeting of the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Joint Health Scrutiny Committee it was confirmed that the topic was on the future work programme for the Joint Committee.




That the update on the Vaccination and Immunisation Programme be noted.


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