Children in care missing out on jabs

Children looked after by local authorities are missing out on
important vaccinations, according to new research.

A new study has found that looked after children are twice as
unlikely to receive meningococcal C vaccine than those living at

It identified the immunisation status of all children in nine
health districts in the UK. Overall, a third of children in public
care did not receive meningococcal C vaccine – which was introduced
as a universal child vaccination in 1999 – compared with 15 per
cent of children at home. Uptake decreased with age in both

Although the researchers did not look at the reasons for failure to
immunise, they found that,in 2001, 16 per cent of children in
public care moved placement more than three times.

“This instability creates potent risk factors, including missed
school based immunisation and discontinuity of primary care,” the
report says. It call for health services to be made accountable for
immunisation uptake among these children as well as social

– Report at

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