Vaccines in practice - 2012

Why do hepatitis B vaccines fail?
Cristina Masuet Aumatell and Jane N Zuckerman
pp 1-4
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) persists in 5–10% of immunocompetent adults and in 90% of infants infected perinatally. Worldwide, this results in 350 million carriers of the disease and an association with one to two million deaths. This is despite the fact that HBV is a vaccine-preventable infection for which a universal immunisation programme exists in more than 180 countries throughout the world.
Comment: Breaking it down
Peter M English
pp 3-3
The content of Vaccines in practice can be subdivided in several ways, one of which would be paediatric, adult and travel vaccination.
The Australian immunisation system
Nigel W Crawford
pp 4-5
The public health benefits of immunisation have been well documented internationally, including in the UK and Australia. An example being the polio epidemics of the 1950s, which help to highlight the need to remain vigilant with immunisation and surveillance if Australia is to remain polio free.
Pneumococcal vaccination in high-risk groups
Helen Cruickshank, Johanna M Jefferies and Stuart C Clarke
pp 6-8
The bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae (the pneumococcus) is responsible for a spectrum of illnesses ranging from ear infections to severe systemic, invasive disease. Invasive pneumococcal disease may manifest as serious illnesses such as bacteraemia, bacteraemic pneumonia or meningitis, the long-term effects of which can be profound. A pneumococcal vaccine is now an established component of the childhood immunisation programme in the UK, protecting infants from the age of two months. Some older children and adults with certain clinical conditions are also eligible for pneumococcal immunisation, and effective identification and targeted immunisation strategies can help to protect these at-risk individuals.
A traditional intervention in a new and complex public health system
Khushbu Lalwani
pp 8-11
London primary care trusts (PCTs), including Bexley Business Support Unit (BBSU), formerly known as Bexley Care Trust (BCT), became part of a London programme to improve the coverage of childhood immunisations in 2010, following a major push from NHS London. London has historically had lower reported vaccine coverage (proportion of children vaccinated at the recommended ages) than the rest of the country, and ways to implement the programme using existing resources were required.