Maintain national immunisation programmes

IT is crucial to maintain national immunisation programmes "where safely and practicably possible" during the coronavirus outbreak, says the Scottish Government.

The Chief Medical Officer Directorate has written to all relevant healthcare professionals and stakeholders with a reminder that immunisation programmes should not be classified as non-urgent work.

The letter states: "This will assist in avoiding outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases and allow us to provide important protection to children and other vulnerable groups. It will also avoid increasing further, the numbers of patients requiring health services and hospitalisation from vaccine-preventable diseases."

NHS Scotland says it recognises the logistical difficulties, especially with school-based immunisation programmes and shingles immunisation for older adults, and the letter sets out its expectations, while taking into account COVID-19 official advice.

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