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Nose drop hope for child flu campaign

Thursday November 17th, 2011

UK government advisers want flu vaccine nose drops to be developed for children, it emerged yesterday.

They are to spend more time considering whether to extend the flu vaccination programme to children - in the hope that drops can be developed, it was announced yesterday.

There has been growing pressure to vaccinate children because of the rapid spread of viruses through schools - as well as their vulnerability to swine flu.

Experts say they are hoping that a nose drop version of the vaccine can developed to make widespread child vaccination possible.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation said it is now seeking further evidence on the issue.

It has received details of a study from the Health Protection Agency stating that child vaccination would be cost effective - to prevent disease spread.

It says it wants an assessments of how GPs and schools would manage the programme - which would have to be undertaken annually.

Director of immunisation Professor David Salisbury said: “Extending the vaccination programme to all healthy children under 17 would be a huge undertaking, increasing the number of people who get the vaccine, so it is important that we get this decision absolutely right.

"A key consideration will be the availability, as the JCVI concluded, of a flu vaccine, given as nose drops, that would be more effective in protecting children against flu. But we need to understand from vaccine manufacturers how and when they would be able to produce the vaccine in the quantities we need."

Tags: Child Health | Flu & Viruses | NHS | Pharmaceuticals | Respiratory | UK News

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