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Found 444 results
  1. Content Article
    This cohort study in the Lancet aimed to evaluate the overall effect of vaccination to prevent Long Covid symptoms and assess comparative effectiveness of the most used vaccines (ChAdOx1 and BNT162b2). The results showed that vaccination against Covid-19 consistently reduced the risk of Long Covid symptoms, which highlights the importance of vaccination to prevent persistent Covid-19 symptoms, particularly in adults.
  2. News Article
    The medical regulator failed to sound the alarm over Covid vaccine side effects and should be investigated, MPs have said. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is responsible for approving drugs and devices and monitors side effects caused by treatments. But the all-party parliamentary group (APPG) on pandemic response and recovery, an influential group of MPs, has raised “serious patient safety concerns”. It has claimed that “far from protecting patients” the regulator operates in a way that “puts them at serious risk”. Some 25 MPs across four parties have written to the health select committee asking for an urgent investigation. In reply, Steve Brine, the health committee chairman, has said an inquiry into patient safety is “very likely”. In a letter to Mr Brine, the APPG said that there was reason to believe that the MHRA had been aware of post-vaccination heart and clotting issues as early as February 2021, but did not highlight the problems for several months. Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Telegraph, 27 February 2024 Related reading on the hub: Interview with Charlet Crichton, founder of UKCVFamily
  3. News Article
    Covid vaccines have been linked to small increases in heart, blood, and neurological disorders, according to the largest global study of its kind. An international coalition of vaccine experts looked for 13 medical conditions among 99 million vaccine recipients across eight countries in order to identify higher rates of those conditions after receiving the shots. They confirmed that the shots made by Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca are linked to significantly higher risk of five medical conditions - including a nerve-wasting condition that leaves people struggling to walk or think. Read full story Source: Daily Mail, 19 February 2024
  4. Event
    until
    Are all of your severely immunocompromised patients aged 50 and over vaccinated against shingles? These patients are eligible for vaccination through the National programme Discuss identifying and vaccinating your most vulnerable patients, and how GSK can support you. This event is organised and funded by GSK­­. Further information and registration
  5. Content Article
    This Lancet article highlights new evidence from analysis of population-based electronic health records for almost the entire population of the UK. The analysis showed that, as of 1 June 2022, a high proportion of the population had received fewer than the recommended number of Covid-19 vaccinations: 45·8% in England, 49·8% in Northern Ireland, 34·2% in Scotland and 32·8% in Wales. Combining the results across countries suggests that a substantial number of severe Covid-19 outcomes, including hospital admissions or deaths from Covid-19, might be prevented if recommended vaccination schedules were fully implemented. These findings reinforce the message that the role of vaccination in Covid-19 is to mitigate the severity of the illness, reducing the risk of complications and mortality, rather than avoiding all Covid-19 infections.
  6. Content Article
    This population-based cohort study from Sweden and Norway aimed to explore whether exposure to mRNA Covid-19 vaccination during pregnancy increases the risk of adverse events in newborn infants. The cohort included 94,303 infants exposed to Covid-19 vaccination during pregnancy and 102,167 control infants born between June 2021 and January 2023. The authors found that vaccination during pregnancy was associated with lower odds of neonatal intracranial haemorrhage, cerebral ischemia and hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, and neonatal mortality.
  7. News Article
    The European Commission is recommending measures EU countries should adopt to increase the uptake of two vaccines that prevent viral infections that can cause cancer, it said on Wednesday. The two vaccines are against the human papillomaviruses (HPV) that can cause many cancers, including cervical cancer, and against hepatitis B (HBV), which can lead to liver cancer. As part of Europe's Beating Cancer Plan, the European Union wants member countries to reach HPV vaccination of 90% for girls by 2030 and significantly increase the rate for boys. "Many Member States are well below 50% HPV vaccination coverage for girls with limited data available for boys and young adults, and there is a significant lack of data on HBV vaccination rate," the Commission statement said, adding it was as low as 1% in some countries. Read full story Source: Medscape UK, 31 January 2024
  8. News Article
    A midwife in New York who reportedly gave 1,500 children homeopathic pellets rather than the vaccinations required by the state has been fined $300,000 by the state's health department. The midwife was identified as Jeanette Breen, who operates the Long Island-based Baldwin Midwifery. Ms Breen reportedly gave the pellets as an alternative to required vaccinations and then proceeded to falsify the children's immunisation records, according to the New York Department of Health. The midwife reportedly began giving the pellets during the Covid-19 pandemic, specifically during the 2019-2020 school year. The majority of the affected children live in Long Island, according to the Associated Press. The health department said that the false records have since been voided, and that the families will have to ensure their students are up-to-date with their shots before they can return to school. “Misrepresenting or falsifying vaccine records puts lives in jeopardy and undermines the system that exists to protect public health,” State Health Commissioner James McDonald said in a statement. Read full story Source: The Independent, 24 January 2024
  9. News Article
    A “national call to action” has been made by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) after a worrying surge in the spread of measles in London and the West Midlands. Professor Dame Jenny Harries, chief executive of the health board, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that people have “forgotten what measles is like”, and that children can be unwell for a week or two with symptoms including a nasty rash, high fever and ear infections. She added that the virus is highly infectious, with health officials warning that serious complications can arise that include hospitalisations and death. This comes as official figures show uptake of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine is at its lowest point in more than a decade. Read full story Source: The Independent, 19 January 2024
  10. Content Article
    Undervaccination—receiving fewer than the recommended number of Covid-19 vaccine doses—could be associated with increased risk of severe Covid-19 outcomes including hospitalisation or death compared with full vaccination. This study aimed to determine the factors associated with undervaccination and to investigate the risk of severe Covid-19 outcomes in people who were undervaccinated in each UK nation, and across the UK. The authors found that rates of undervaccination against Covid-19 ranged from 32·8% to 49·8% across the four UK nations in summer 2022. They also concluded that undervaccination was associated with an elevated risk of severe Covid-19 outcomes.
  11. News Article
    Health experts have warned “we must act now” as measles cases have soared across the country amid an increase in unvaccinated children. There were 1,603 suspected cases of measles in England and Wales in 2023, new statistics from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) show. MMR cases have increased significantly in the last two years - in 2022, there were 735 cases, and just 360 the year before. On Friday, Birmingham Children’s Hospital said it had become inundated with the highest number of children with measles in decades. The hospital treated more than 50 children for the disease in the last month. Professor Sir Andrew Pollard, Chair of the UK Health Department's Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, warned that unless more children are vaccinated there will be an increase in hospital admissions and even deaths. He told The Independent: “The main reason for this new outbreak is the increase in unvaccinated children in the last few years. “Vaccinations have decreased below 90 per cent and this is dangerous. The vaccine is powerful if we use it, and it will protect our children. “We must act now and the increased cases are a warning that there will be consequences if we don’t. There will be children with severe infections, brain damage and even death.” Read full story Source: The Independent, 15 January 2024
  12. News Article
    More than 7,000 Covid-related hospital admissions could have been prevented in the UK in the summer of 2022 if the population had received the full number of jabs recommended, according to research in The Lancet. Some 44% of the UK population was under-vaccinated, with younger people among the most likely to skip doses. In a first, health records for everyone over five in the UK were analysed. The same approach could now be used to understand other diseases. The entire population of the UK is 67 million, and all those over the age of five had their anonymised electronic health data analysed for The Lancet study. With about 40,000 severe hospital admissions related to Covid during that summer, the research estimates that more than 7,000 - 17% - would have been avoided if everyone had taken up the offer of the vaccine and booster doses for which they were eligible. Read full story Source: BBC News, 16 January 2024
  13. Content Article
    Undervaccination (receiving fewer than the recommended number of Covid-19 vaccine doses) could be associated with increased risk of severe Covid-19 outcomes—ie, Covid-19 hospitalisation or death—compared with full vaccination (receiving the recommended number of vaccine doses). The HDR UK COALESCE Consortium study determined the factors associated with undervaccination, and investigated the risk of severe Covid-19 outcomes in people who were undervaccinated in each UK nation and across the UK. The results, published in The Lancet, found that undervaccination against COVID-19 ranged from 32.8% to 49.8% across the four UK nations in summer, 2022. Undervaccination was associated with an elevated risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes.
  14. Content Article
    Childhood immunisation is a critically important public health initiative. However, since most vaccines are administered by injection, it is associated with considerable pain and distress. Despite evidence demonstrating the efficacy of various pain management strategies, the frequency with which these are used during routine infant vaccinations in UK practice is unknown. This study aimed to explore primary care practice nurses’ use of evidence-based pain management strategies during infant immunisation, as well as barriers to evidence-based practice.
  15. Content Article
    In this article for The Lancet, Professor Gagandeep Kang from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation examines what the story of rotavirus vaccine development in India can tell us about the opportunities, the necessary enabling environment and the challenges of creating products to improve global health. He highlights that although multiple successful vaccines were developed during the Covid-19 pandemic—in quantities that were inconceivable at the start of the pandemic—vaccine nationalism trumped the efforts of WHO, which established a prioritisation framework for vaccination of clinically vulnerable populations. The COVAX scheme was not successful in its aim to ensure that vaccines could be financed and distributed equitably around the world. This experience of delayed and low access to vaccines has led to calls for reparative justice and for moving away from short-term fixes of product donations to support local or regional vaccine manufacturing. Sharing intellectual property and enhancing regional capacity are now framed as moral imperatives against colonialism, and the development of the rotavirus vaccine provides lessons on how this can be achieved.
  16. News Article
    Hospital admissions from a winter virus could be reduced by more than 80% if babies are given a single dose of a new antibody treatment, a study says. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms, but can lead to bronchiolitis and pneumonia. More than 30,000 under fives are hospitalised with RSV in the UK annually, resulting in 20 to 30 deaths. One British parent said her son getting RSV was "very scary" as a first-time mother. Lorna and Russell Smith's eldest son, Caolan, got the virus when he was eight months old and was admitted to hospital twice - each time requiring oxygen. Now aged two, he has made a full recovery. "I hadn't heard of RSV and wasn't sure what to do. He had laboured breathing due to high temperature and was quite lethargic. It brought a lot of anxiety and stress," Lorna said. The Harmonie study involved 8,000 children up to the age of 12 months, with half receiving a single dose of the monoclonal antibody treatment nirsevimab. The results, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, showed that RSV-related hospitalisation was reduced by 83% in those receiving the jab and admissions for all chest infections were cut by 58%. Side effects were similar in both groups and mostly mild. Read full story Source: BBC News, 27 December 2023
  17. News Article
    The NHS could struggle to cope with a catastrophic flu season after leading medics warned of plunging flu vaccine uptake among its frontline staff. NHS figures show just 39% of frontline staff had a flu vaccine in November, down from 52% in November 2020. The worrying statistics mean the already under-strain service could lose crucial staff to illnesses and risk spreading the virus during its busiest winter period. Speaking to The Independent, Dr Adrian Boyle, president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine said: “We are concerned about staff vaccination against flu. Post-pandemic, there is a certain lack of appetite and there is probably a degree of apathy about staff getting vaccinated against flu, and we think that’s a problem. “We need to be doing more to get stuff vaccinated against flu.” He added: “I think societally and as healthcare practitioners, I think we have a moral duty to get ourselves vaccinated so we don't create gaps by going off sick and we don't infect our patients.” Read full story Source: The Independent, 21 December 2023
  18. News Article
    Pregnant women have been urged to get vaccinated following a spike in suspected whooping cough cases in England and Wales. Official figures show doctors reported some 716 suspected cases between July and November - up from 217 in the previous period last year. Whooping cough, or pertussis, is a bacterial infection of the lungs and breathing tubes that spreads easily and infected tens of thousands of people before vaccines were introduced. It is easily preventable, experts say, but can sometimes cause serious problems for babies and children. Dr Gayatri Amirthalingam, consultant epidemiologist at the UKHSA, said the rise in suspected cases of whooping cough was “expected” due to low immunity as a result of the Covid pandemic. Despite vaccinations being available in the UK the infection hasn’t gone away “completely” but immunisation can provide “life-long protection”. “Social distancing and lockdown measures imposed across the UK during the COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the spread of infections, including whooping cough,” Dr Amirthalingam added. “As expected, we are now seeing cases of whooping cough increase again so it’s vital pregnant women ensure they get vaccinated to protect their baby.” Read full story Source: The Independent, 7 December 2023
  19. News Article
    Doctors must be on high alert for measles as vaccine rates among young children have dipped to a 10-year low, leaving some unprotected and risking outbreaks of the highly infectious and dangerous virus, experts say. It is the first time in decades the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) has issued national guidance such as this. At least 95% of children should be double vaccinated by the age of five. But the UK is well below that target. Latest figures show only 84.5% had received a second shot of the protective measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) jab - the lowest level since 2010-11. Measles can make children very sick. The main symptoms are a fever and a rash but it can cause serious complications including meningitis. For some, it is fatal. The RCPCH is worried the UK is now seeing a "devastating resurgence" of virtually eliminated life-threatening diseases such as measles, because of low vaccine uptake. Read full story Source: BBC News, 22 November 2023
  20. News Article
    All children in the UK should be given a chickenpox vaccine at 12 and 18 months of age, combined with the MMR jab as one shot, the NHS is advised. It will now be up to the government to decide whether to add it to the routine immunisations children are offered. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has also recommended a temporary catch-up programme for slightly older children who've missed out on this initial rollout. Chickenpox cases dipped during the Covid pandemic due to restrictions on socialising, meaning there is currently a larger pool of children than usual who are unprotected against the highly contagious virus. Chickenpox can be more severe if you catch it for the first time as a teen or an adult rather than as a young child. Dr Gayatri Amirthalingam from the UK Health Security Agency said: "Introducing a vaccine against chickenpox would prevent most children getting what can be quite a nasty illness - and for those who would experience more severe symptoms, it could be a life saver. "The JCVI's recommendations will help make chickenpox a problem of the past and bring the UK into line with a number of other countries that have well-established programmes." Read full story Source: BBC News, 14 November 2023
  21. Content Article
    A BMJ investigation has raised concerns that the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) isn’t operating as intended and that signals are being missed. VAERS is supposed to be user friendly, responsive, and transparent. However, investigations by The BMJ have uncovered that it’s not meeting its own standards. Not only have staffing levels failed to keep pace with the unprecedented number of reports since the rollout of covid vaccines but there are signs that the system is overwhelmed, reports aren’t being followed up, and signals are being missed. The BMJ has spoken to more than a dozen people, including physicians and a state medical examiner, who have filed VAERS reports of a serious nature on behalf of themselves or patients and were never contacted by clinical reviewers or were contacted months later. 
  22. News Article
    AstraZeneca is facing legal action over its Covid vaccine, by a man who suffered severe brain injury after having the jab in April 2021. Father-of-two Jamie Scott suffered a blood clot that left him with brain damage and unable to keep working. The action, taken under the Consumer Protection Act, alleges the vaccine was "defective" as it was less safe than individuals were entitled to expect. Studies suggest Covid vaccines have saved millions of lives. In June 2022, the World Health Organization said the AstraZeneca vaccine was "safe and effective for individuals aged 18 and above". A further claim from about 80 people who say they were injured by the AstraZeneca vaccine is also due to be launched later this year but Mr Scott's case is expected to be heard first. AstraZeneca said: "Patient safety is our highest priority and regulatory authorities have clear and stringent standards to ensure the safe use of all medicines, including vaccines. "Our sympathy goes out to anyone who has lost loved ones or reported health problems. "From the body of evidence in clinical trials and real-world data, Vaxzevria [the vaccine against Covid] has continuously been shown to have an acceptable safety profile and regulators around the world consistently state that the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks of extremely rare potential side effects." Read full story Source: BBC News, 9 November 2023 Related reading on the hub: Interview with Charlet Crichton, founder of UKCVFamily
  23. Content Article
    UKCVFamily was set up in November 2021 to support patients in the UK who have had an adverse reaction to a Covid-19 vaccination. The group provides help and advocacy as well as raising awareness amongst healthcare professionals, the media and the Government. In this video, founder of UKCVFamily Charlet Crichton talks to us about why she established the group and describes the support it offers to patients. She outlines some of the issues people face when trying to access diagnosis and treatment, and discusses the limitations of the MHRA's Yellow Card scheme in collecting data about adverse reactions. She also describes how healthcare professionals can support people with adverse reactions by taking their concerns seriously and investigating symptoms thoroughly.
  24. News Article
    The NHS has launched an investigation after it sent “priority” letters to people who died years ago, in some cases decades, urging them to book flu and Covid-19 jabs to reduce their risk of serious illness. The health service is asking eligible patients to arrange appointments for both vaccines to avoid a potential “twindemic” of flu and coronavirus this winter, which would pile further pressure on hospitals and GP surgeries. “You are a priority for seasonal flu and Covid-19 vaccinations,” the two-page letter tells recipients. “This is because you are aged 65 or over (by 31 March 2024). However, some of the letters, which contain personal information such as NHS numbers, have been sent to people who died years ago. Others have been sent to people who are not eligible for the vaccines, with no connection to the addressee. In a statement, NHS England told the Guardian it was investigating. It declined to answer questions about when the error was first discovered, what had caused it and how many people had been affected. “We have been made aware of some letters sent in error and appreciate this may have been upsetting for those who received it – we are working as quickly as possible to investigate this,” a spokesperson for NHS England said. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 24 October 2023
  25. News Article
    The BMA’s GP Committee (GPC) has demanded an investigation into the Government and NHS England’s ‘mismanagement’ of this year’s vaccination programmes. A motion was passed at the GPC England meeting today which called for a review of the ‘circumstances which led to muddled and mismanaged communications’ and for reflection on how to ‘prevent a repeat occurrence’. Last month, there was confusion over the start date for the adult flu and Covid vaccination programmes, which usually start in September. NHS England said the programmes would start in October this year – a move which the BMA said would cause ‘serious disruption’. But the Government then announced that vaccination will begin on 11 September, in what the BMA has called a ‘u-turn’, following the identification of a new Covid variant. GPs were asked to vaccinate ‘as many people as possible’ by the end of October. The GPC has said today that these ‘conflicting instructions’ led to confusion among GPs while also impacting on patient safety. Read full story Source: Pulse, 21 September 2023
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