New guidance aims to boost vaccine uptake

GP practices should have a named person in charge of vaccination services to increase uptake of routine vaccinations, according to new guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

Vaccination leads would co-ordinate services, make sure records are kept up to date and that invitations or reminders are sent to those who are eligible.

Vaccine uptake in the general population underlines the importance of having processes in place to overcome barriers to vaccination, such as inflexible clinic times/locations, issues around vaccine hesitancy, language or literacy problems and lack of staff training in how to discuss vaccinations effectively.

It suggests practices consider providing vaccination services during extended hours or in different settings such as mobile units or community centres.

Appointment times should also be long enough to allow those administering a vaccination to discuss any issues or concerns with the patient.

Healthcare providers are urged to tailor their services to local needs and to be aware of certain population groups that are known to have low uptake, including people from some minority ethnic backgrounds, those in the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities, new migrants or asylum seekers and people living in areas of high deprivation.

NICE also advises practices to regularly audit and review services with a focus on continuous improvement.

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