cloud

Declining Vaccination Rates Among Children in Scotland’s NHS Highland Region: A Deep Dive

author
By: BNN Correspondents
Declining Vaccination Rates Among Children in Scotland’s NHS Highland Region: A Deep Dive

Falling Vaccination Rates: A Cause for Concern

Scotland’s National Health Service (NHS) Highland region has witnessed a concerning decrease in the vaccination rates among children, as revealed by a leaked internal report. The uptake of the four-in-one vaccine, which provides protection against diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, and polio, has declined to its lowest level in almost a decade. As of June, only 86.5% of five-year-olds had received the pre-school booster, a significant fall from the 91.6% recorded in June 2022.

The report also indicates that the percentage of five-year-olds receiving their first MMR dose fell year-on-year, from 97.1% to 94.5%. Similarly, the Hib/MenC booster against meningitis C and Haemophilus influenzae Type B (Hib) saw a drop from 97.2% to 93.7%. Coverage for some infant vaccinations, including rotavirus, the pneumococcal vaccine (PCV), and combined inoculations against tetanus, whooping cough, polio, Hep B, and Hib also declined. On the other hand, the first dose of MMR among two-year-olds saw a slight increase, from 89.8% to 91.5%.

Vaccine Delivery Shift: A Controversial Move

The drop in vaccination rates coincides with the contentious transfer of responsibility for vaccine delivery from GP surgeries to the health board, a change that commenced in March. This move was designed to alleviate the workload of GPs as per the 2018 Scottish GP contract. However, doctors in the Highlands have contended that the region’s remote and rural geography makes it more feasible for GP practices to continue administering vaccinations in-house. The leaked report indicates that the health board is struggling to implement the Vaccine Transformation Programme (VTP) model, given the region’s geography and demography.

Challenges in Vaccination Delivery

The report highlights several issues, including long journeys to clinics, staffing shortages at health board-run vaccination hubs resulting in cancellations, and extended waiting periods for appointments. Between March and May, 64 childhood vaccination clinics were cancelled across Lochaber, Skye, and Highland, impacting 114 pre-booked patient appointments. The report also criticises the lack of an “options appraisal” to enable willing GP practices to continue administering vaccines in their area, a strategy implemented in the Argyll and Bute Health and Social Care Partnership area.

Response from NHS Highland

In response to the issues highlighted in the report, NHS Highland acknowledged the need for improvements in the design of its vaccination service. The health service expressed a commitment to delivering vaccinations as close to local communities as possible, indicating a willingness to adapt its approach in light of the challenges faced.

Conclusion

The decline in vaccination rates among children in Scotland’s NHS Highland region is a worrying trend with potential public health implications. While the shift in vaccine delivery responsibility was intended to ease the burden on GPs, it has been met with practical challenges and controversy. As the health board acknowledges the need for service design improvements, the hope is that these issues will be addressed effectively, leading to a reversal of the declining vaccination rates.

0
logo

Join the revolution today with our BNN App.

appstore googleplay
Learn more arrow
Economy Health United Kingdom

Comments

There are no comments yet.
Log in to comment
Latest Headlines
World News
Third Republic Ex-Lawmakers Call for Immediate Payment of Unpaid Salaries and Allowances
Third Republic Ex-Lawmakers Call for Immediate Payment of Unpaid Salaries and Allowances
Spanish Tennis Ace Rafael Nadal Announces Return to Competitive Tennis
Spanish Tennis Ace Rafael Nadal Announces Return to Competitive Tennis
Barrage of Rockets Launched Towards Israel Spark International Concern
Barrage of Rockets Launched Towards Israel Spark International Concern
The Paradox of Protein Powder: Aiding Weight Loss and Promoting Weight Gain
The Paradox of Protein Powder: Aiding Weight Loss and Promoting Weight Gain
Potential Injury Concern for Napoli's Captain Giovanni Di Lorenzo
Potential Injury Concern for Napoli's Captain Giovanni Di Lorenzo
MiO's Unique Tactic: 'Energy Drink Insurance' Offers Compensation for Energy Drink Effects
MiO's Unique Tactic: 'Energy Drink Insurance' Offers Compensation for Energy Drink Effects
New York Rangers' Barclay Goodrow Suffers Facial Injury in Game Against Ottawa Senators
New York Rangers' Barclay Goodrow Suffers Facial Injury in Game Against Ottawa Senators
Braverman Criticizes Sunak's Rwanda Immigration Plan amid Tory Discontent
Braverman Criticizes Sunak's Rwanda Immigration Plan amid Tory Discontent
The Digital Era's FOMO: Causes, Effects, and Coping Strategies
The Digital Era's FOMO: Causes, Effects, and Coping Strategies
Urging Increased Funding to Battle Malaria: A Global Health Challenge
Urging Increased Funding to Battle Malaria: A Global Health Challenge
Argentine Woman's Release Sheds Light on Ongoing Hostage Crisis in Gaza
Argentine Woman's Release Sheds Light on Ongoing Hostage Crisis in Gaza
Apple TV+'s 'Masters of the Air' Promises a Riveting WWII Narrative
Apple TV+'s 'Masters of the Air' Promises a Riveting WWII Narrative
Global Roundup: Significant Events of December 6, 2023
Global Roundup: Significant Events of December 6, 2023
The Resounding Echoes of December 6: A Journey Through History
The Resounding Echoes of December 6: A Journey Through History
Rumors and Speculations Surrounding Indigo Disk DLC for Pokemon Scarlet & Violet
Rumors and Speculations Surrounding Indigo Disk DLC for Pokemon Scarlet & Violet
Global Issues: From the Stability Pact Reform to the Gaza Hostage Crisis
Global Issues: From the Stability Pact Reform to the Gaza Hostage Crisis
Corinthians Set to Face Coritiba in the Final Round of the Brazilian Championship
Corinthians Set to Face Coritiba in the Final Round of the Brazilian Championship
Tensions Rise in Gaza; Indonesia's Volcanic Aftermath; Peru's Political Shift; and COP28's Climate Commitments
Tensions Rise in Gaza; Indonesia's Volcanic Aftermath; Peru's Political Shift; and COP28's Climate Commitments
bnn wechat
BNN

BNN Breaking

Magazines & Newspapers

Free - In Google Play

Install Open in app