Parents are urged to continue to attend immunisation appointments for young children during the COVID-19 lockdown.
The childhood immunisation programme is crucial in protecting children from serious disease including pertussis (whooping cough), measles, meningitis and pneumonia.
It is important that parents continue to bring their children for appointments when invited, and complete their immunisations on time. This is vital in preventing outbreaks of serious childhood diseases.
Immunisation programmes prevent avoidable GP appointments and hospital admissions because of vaccine-preventable diseases. Keeping children out of hospital is especially important during the response to COVID-19.
Pregnant women should also continue to attend their routine immunisation sessions when contacted by their general practice or child health clinic.
Social distancing measures and appropriate infection control procedures are in place to protect you and the practice staff.
Your health visitor will be able to offer advice and support for parents, and pregnant women can obtain advice on immunisation from their midwife.
The number of women attending their smear test appointment has fallen by more than 80% during lockdown.
Women who have received a letter inviting them for a smear test are being urged to attend.
Those attending the practice for a screening will notice some changes to help to reduce the spread of Covid. This will include social distancing measures and healthcare staff will be wearing protective clothing including face masks.
• Patients are being asked to follow social distancing measures by waiting outside until the appointment time.
• Those who are self-isolating should not book until their isolation period is complete.
• Anyone who is shielding should follow the government guidance specific to the area.
Cervical screening remains a really important test and the best protection against cervical cancer.
It can be worrying for people during the outbreak, but if you have been invited to have your smear test it is safe to attend.
So, even if you received your invitation letter a while ago, call the practice and book your appointment. If you’re shielding, or have any concerns, please do discuss this with your GP.
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