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Children to get free immunisations at GP

03 November 2010

Parents in Jersey are being advised that from January 2011, all baby vaccinations and the 6-week baby developmental check will be done at their GP surgery without any charge.

At the moment, parents can take their children to either a Child Health Clinic or to their GP surgery to get immunisations. From 3 January 2011, a doctor will no longer be in attendance at the Child Health Clinic, so parents will have to go to their GP to get their children immunised.

Visits to GP surgeries for the 6-week baby check and for immunisations at 2, 3, 4, 12, 13 months and 3 years 4 months of age will be free. Parents will receive reminder letters when an appointment is due.

More than a thousand parents will be affected by these changes. It’s hoped the new arrangements will reduce the current long waiting lists for vaccinations and ensure that children do not miss out on protection.

Community paediatric consultant and clinical lead for immunisation, Dr Mark Jones, said “We want to make sure children don’t miss out on receiving their immunisations. At present, the majority of parents opt to have immunisations at Child Health Clinics and this has led to long waiting lists for appointments, particularly for the toddler age group.

“In the past there’s been confusion around where parents go for immunisations and some children have been ‘slipping through the net’ and missing out on protection. Often a child’s GP believed they were being immunised at a clinic, whilst the Child Health Team, who send out appointments for the clinics, identified their place of immunisation as being their GP practice.

“This change will simplify the immunisation system for parents in Jersey to one that resembles that of the UK. Parents will receive a reminder when the baby check or an immunisation is due, all of this will happen in one place (that is, at their GP surgery), the service will be free, there won’t be long waiting lists for immunisation anymore so babies and young children will receive their immunisations at the correct time.”

Health visiting advice and other services available at the Child Health Clinics will be unaffected by this change.

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