Here at the Harrow Health Care Centre we provide a full range of children’s immunisations in accordance with the Department of Health Guidelines and you will find our nurses are knowledgeable about the routine childhood immunisations schedule.
We are also familiar with the recommended immunisations schedule for babies born outside the UK, in particular, the babies born in the United States. Their immunisations schedules are slightly different and include other vaccines namely Hepatitis A and B and Varicella. We know how important it is that children travelling round the globe follow the immunisation schedule of their nationality. You will also find our doctors knowledgeable and able to adapt schedules and requirements according to their needs.
Hepatitis B vaccine is given widely in other countries, but the incidence of Hepatitis B in the UK is considered too low to justify its inclusion in the UK schedule. Parents who regularly travel would do well to have their baby immunised against Hepatitis B. The vaccine can be given from birth, is a course of 3 injections and can be completed within 6 months.
This vaccine is available in Europe and mandatory in the United States but in the UK is not currently recommended as a routine childhood immunisation. Many parents find the requirement to keep a child off from school or nursery for a week when they contract the illness and the uncertainty associated with the long incubation period (21 days) somewhat unnerving and prefer to have their child immunised. Most cases are mild but there are still some cases with severe complications. Vaccination can be given at the same time as MMR i.e. around 12-13 months. Children require two doses of Varicella.
Meningitis B Vaccine
Bacterial meningitis and septicaemia kills more children under 5 years of age than any other infectious disease in the UK. 55% of UK bacterial meningitis and septicaemia is caused by Meningococcal serogroup B.
Around 1,200 people, mainly babies and children, get meningitis caused by meningococcal group B bacteria each year in the UK, with around 1 in 10 dying from the infection. Many of those who survive suffer permanent disability such as limb loss, brain damage and epilepsy. Whilst the infection is commonest in children aged 0-4 years, 11% of the cases last year occurred in 15-19 year olds and 10% in people aged 45-64. The vaccine is safe and at the Harrow Health Care Centre we will be offering Meningitis B vaccination to adults and to children.
Please see NHS Choices website above or Meningitis Research Foundation for more information on MenB (meningococcal B) vaccine.
Following the nationwide shortage of vaccine we are now back in supply. We are able to start new courses and to complete the vaccinations for anyone who has started the course with us or elsewhere.
For some several years the Harrow Health Care Centre has advocated the use of the ACWY vaccine to be offered to teenagers particularly those about to attend University where the incidence of meningitis (and of mumps) is much higher due to a new mix of populations, loss of herd immunity affect and individuals coming from areas where vaccine uptake has been sub-optimal. We are pleased that the Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation is now planning a programme to vaccinate 14-18 year olds with the ACWY, after an expert vaccine group recommended vaccination against meningococcal group W for this age group to generate herd protection for the rest of the population. This would replace the group C vaccine already offered to teenagers. The number of cases of meningitis W rose from 22 in 2009 to 117 in 2014.
Tuberculosis – BCG
We are pleased to be able to offer both Mantoux testing and BCG immunisation. The schools programme for routinely immunising year 8 and 9 children is no longer in force and current recommendations are to immunise babies in areas with high incidence of tuberculosis. This generates a postcode lottery and also some uncertainty amongst parents about the importance of having their children immunised against tuberculosis. We would certainly recommend immunising any youngster who plans to travel and anyone who may be considering a health care career. Children over the age of 6 require Mantoux testing to identify whether they have any natural immunity (or even perhaps latent TB) before proceeding to the BCG immunisation. Children under 6 and, of course, babies do not require any testing so it is a much more straightforward procedure. We are happy to perform both Mantoux tests and BCG vaccinations on your children should you wish.
Adults: We offer a Mantoux testing service for adults. Two appointments are made for each patient at an interval of 48 – 72 hours.The first is for the test to be administered and the second is for it to be read after the correct time interval has passed.
Please note we also offer a blood test (Quantiferon) for those who need to prove their TB status.
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT OUR BCG VACCINATION SERVICES IS AVAILABLE HERE.
Cervical Cancer & HPV Vaccines
HPV virus is the cause of almost every case of cervical cancer. HPV virus also causes 50% of ano-genital cancers in men and women and many head and neck cancers. Other sorts of HPV virus cause genital warts. (There are over 100 different sorts of HPV viruses). Currently we have a vaccine which protects against 4 sorts of HPV virus. Gardasil will protect against 70% of the viruses which cause cervical and anogenital cancers and most of the viruses that cause genital warts. In the NHS it is currently offered to girls aged 11 and 12 who receive 2 injections with 6 months apart. Older girls and men are advised to have 3 injections over a 6 month period. The vaccination is one of the safest vaccines available as HPV is a skin infection. It is best administered to youngsters before they become sexually active but still has value for any woman.
Increasingly we are realising that boys as well as girls should be receiving the HPV vaccination as they do now in Australia and in the USA. This protects them against genital warts, anogenital cancers and head and neck cancers. It also prevents them from carrying the most dangerous HPV types which can cause cervical cancer in their partners. The increase in oral cancers and many ENT cancers is related to HPV virus transmission caused by different forms of sexual activity and there is an increasingly powerful case to vaccinate all youngsters with this vaccine in order to protect both genders from oral and ENT cancers, from genital warts and for the girls of course from cervical cancers.
Anyone can request the HPV vaccination, please make an appointment with our Nurse. We generally are providing Gardasil but can if requested also access Cervarix. Please see link to Cancer Research UK which is www.cancerresearchuk.org about cancer – cancers in general – cancer questions – cancer – cervical cancer