Newham GPs send birthday cards as jab reminders

Newham parents with newborns and toddlers turning one and four will getting extra birthday cards- from their GPs.

The cards will, however, be inviting and reminding parents to make sure that their children’s immunisations are up-to-date.

Recent outbreaks of measles in London have left some children hospitalised – something the birthday cards aim to prevent.

Dr Hardip Nandra, a GP at Essex Lodge in Plaistow, said: “Ensuring that your child has all their childhood immunisations is one of the most important things that a parent can do for their child. Immunisations will safely protect your children and give them the best start in life.

“Recent outbreaks have shown that deciding not to immunise your child puts them at risk of catching a range of potentially serious, even fatal, diseases. If you are unsure about it, talk to your GP or nurse and we will give you all the latest information and advice.”

The immunisations on offer from your GP practice protect children against ten potentially serious diseases including meningitis C, measles, and diphtheria.

Immunisation uptake rates in London are lower than the rest of the country. London rates of coverage of all childhood immunisations at ages two and five, are markedly lower than in every other English region.

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Dr Ashwin Shah, an NHS GP in Newham said: “While many children in London get their first immunisation, the number of children who get their booster immunisation drops. This may result in your child not having complete immunity when an infectious disease is on the rise.

“Ideally, children should have their immunisations at the right age to protect them as early as possible and minimise the risk of infection. NHS research has found that some parents may need reminding which immunisations are due and when, in order to keep their child protected so we will send out birthday cards to remind them.”