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GPs told to combine toddler immunisation visits

By Nigel Praities

The Government has told GPs to simplify their child immunisation schedule ‘as soon as practicable' after new evidence showed the vaccines given at 12 and 13 months could be safely given at one visit.

The immunisation shake-up will see the MMR, pneumococcal and Haemophilus influenzae type b and meningitis C vaccines administered at the same time, in children aged 12 or 13 months.

The change comes after Government advisers said new evidence showed that administering the three vaccines at the same time did not adversely affect the immune response to the vaccines.

The Department of Health said the change would allow parents to make fewer visits to their GP and should be made ‘as soon as practicable' in a letter to GPs sent last week.

The letter – sent by Professor Sally Davies, interim chief medical officer – said after considering the evidence, the DH's Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation had ‘decided that in order to simplify the schedule and reduce the number of visits parents had to make, the schedule should be changed to ensure all practices offered the three vaccines in one visit'.

GPs have been told to combine toddler vaccination visits GPs have been told to combine toddler vaccination visits DH letter Full letter

To read the full letter from the Department of Health, please click here.