Vaccines in practice - 2010

Control of childhood hepatitis B in the UK
Gayatri Manikkavasagan and Mary Ramsay
pp 1-4
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a vaccine preventable disease of global public health importance, which can have serious long-term health consequences for infants acquiring infection at or around the time of birth. Childhood infection is most likely to result in chronic carriage – 90% of those born to hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg)-positive and hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg)-positive mothers will become chronically infected and risk developing liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Most childhood infections are asymptomatic and often go unrecognised unless testing for HBsAg is performed.
Comment: Life’s never dull in the world of vaccination
Peter M English
pp 3-3
I have just been taking a timely look back at the first edition of Vaccines in practice (VIP). My editorial Comment dwelt on the temptation for politicians and managers to consider only this year’s (next year’s if we’re really lucky) ‘bottom line’. However, the payback from vaccination usually comes years later (although I gather that human papillomavirus [HPV] vaccination can have a significant effect on genital warts within a year).
Improving immunisation uptake: the role of the immunisation co-ordinator
Kenneth Lamden, Fiona Print, Julia Rosser, Kevin Perrett, Sam Ghebrehewet and Rosemary McCann
pp 5-7
Immunisation is a highly cost-effective healthcare intervention, and is estimated to save three million lives a year worldwide. High coverage is required to achieve disease control at an individual and population level, and to make good use of resources. Given the many elements of both universal and targeted vaccination programmes, achieving high uptake can be extremely challenging. In 1985, the Department of Health (DH) introduced the role of the immunisation co-ordinator. The role was established to provide a direct link with the DH to implement national programmes and to improve the co-ordination of local services to address low uptake.
The response to the swine flu pandemic
Peter M English
pp 8-9
Influenza is a viral infection, causing a sudden onset of fever and cough, often with a sore throat or other respiratory symptoms, headache and/or muscle aches. The incubation period is about three days, and the acute symptoms last for about a week, although full recovery often takes longer. The severity of the illness varies between individuals and it can cause viral pneumonia.
Human papillomavirus vaccination: how is the programme progressing?
Rosemary McCann and Loretta Brabin
pp 10-11
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a common sexually transmitted infection. HPV types 16 and 18 (which Cervarix® [GSK, UK] protects against) cause approximately 70% of cases of cervical cancer in the UK. Estimates suggest the UK HPV programme could, in the future, prevent up to 400 deaths from cervical cancer every year.