Review decision: 

No update required. Published guidance still current.

Next review: 2017

This guidance is for NHS and other professionals responsible for the immunisation of children and young people. They may work in: children’s services, local authorities, education and the wider public, private, voluntary and community sectors. It may also be of interest to parents. 

The guidance aims to increase immunisation uptake among those aged under 19 years from groups where uptake is low. It also aims to ensure babies born to mothers infected with hepatitis B are immunised.

Recommendations 1 to 5 apply to all childhood vaccinations. Recommendation 6 focuses on the infant hepatitis B vaccination programme. They include advice to:

  • improve access to immunisation services, for example, by extending clinic times and making sure clinics are ‘child-friendly’
  • provide parents and young people with tailored information and support and an opportunity to discuss any concerns
  • check children and young people’s immunisation status during health appointments and when they join nurseries, playgroups, schools and further education colleges, and offer them vaccinations
  • ensure babies born to hepatitis B-positive mothers are given all recommended doses of the vaccine on time, a blood test to check for infection and, where appropriate, hepatitis B immunoglobulin.

This guidance was previously called reducing difference in the uptake of immunisations

Website and hyperlink changes - August 2010

The website which is referred to in many documents on these pages has been closed. Resources for professionals are now available from new Department of Health pages  and resources for parents, carers and patients are available on the NHS Choices website. 

It has not been possible to update all hyperlinks in all NICE documents to reflect these changes.

Your responsibility

The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or service users. The application of the recommendations in this guideline is not mandatory and the guideline does not override the responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or their carer or guardian.

Local commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual health professionals and their patients or service users wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties.

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