Mum warns parents to vaccinate babies
A new mother has urged parents to attend their babies’ infant vaccinations after she was shocked to hear that “increasing numbers” of families were cancelling appointments over fears around contracting coronavirus.
Emma Gardner from Boston Spa said she feared babies could be left at risk as they went unvaccinated.
She took four-month-old Teddy for his routine 16-week vaccinations at Boston Spa Surgery last week.
“I didn’t think anything of it as I know Teddy needs these jabs to stay safe,” Mrs Gardner said.
“I was shocked when the nurse told me that there were an increasing number of new parents who were cancelling their baby’s vaccinations because of coronavirus.
“The nurse said she was extremely worried about the welfare of these babies as without these vaccinations they’re left exposed to some extremely serious illnesses which are much more dangerous to them than coronavirus.”
Public Health England (PHE) said the childhood immunisation programme is “highly successful” in reducing serious diseases.
These include such as pneumococcal and meningococcal infections, whooping cough, diphtheria and measles.
“Providing baby and parents are well and not displaying symptoms of COVID-19 or other infections, routine childhood immunisations should proceed,” PHE said in its latest advice to doctors
Instructing surgeries to “keep calm and carry on vaccinating”, PHE wrote: “Many of you will be involved in providing health services to known or suspected cases of COVID-19 infection. Whilst preventing the spread of COVID-19 and caring for those infected is a public health priority, it is very important to maintain good coverage of immunisations, particularly in the childhood programme.
“It remains important to maintain the best possible vaccine uptake to prevent a resurgence of these infections.
“This will avoid outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases that could increase further the numbers of patients requiring health services.”
PR director Mrs Gardner, 36, said she hoped by raising awareness of the issue, more parents would feel confident in taking their children for the vital vaccinations.
She added: “I felt really worried for all those parents out there who might unknowingly put their babies at risk while doing their best to protect them from the virus.”