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NI pharmacies launch childhood vaccination awareness campaign


NI pharmacies launch childhood vaccination awareness campaign

Community pharmacies across Northern Ireland are taking part in a campaign raising awareness of the importance of childhood immunisations in light of a “slight decrease” in vaccination rates.

The awareness campaign is being delivered as part of the Living Well service, which is offered by more than 500 pharmacies in Northern Ireland. A partnership between the Public Health Agency (PHA), Community Pharmacy Northern Ireland (CPNI) and the Department of Health, it encourages parents to approach their local pharmacy for advice on the importance of vaccinations and a free leaflet, check their child's red book is up to date and raise any concerns with their GP or health visitor.

Community pharmacist Ronan Warnock said: “Immunisation is important for children because it helps provide immunity before exposure to potentially life-threatening diseases.

“Parents with queries about any aspect of their child’s immunisations are welcome to call in to any of the participating pharmacies for an informal chat to find out more about the childhood immunisation programme.”

PHA immunisation programme manager Geraldine Mallon said: “The PHA strongly recommends that babies and children are vaccinated according to the Routine Childhood Immunisations Schedule.

“Vaccination rates have seen a slight decrease over recent years so it is important vaccination coverage is improved as soon as possible to help prevent the spread of avoidable serious and sometimes deadly diseases such as measles and polio."

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