COVID-19 Maintaining Immunisation Programmes – PHE Guidance

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Public Health England – with support from the Royal College of General Practitioners and the
Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health – have published Clinical guidance for healthcare professionals on maintaining immunisation programmes during COVID-19.

The guidance sets out the following key points for General Practice:

  • The routine immunisation programme should be maintained.
    • As well as protecting the individual, this will avoid outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases that could further increase the numbers of patients requiring health services.
  • Non-scheduled vaccinations should still be given
    • e.g. for control of outbreak(s) of vaccine preventable conditions as well as opportunistically (e.g. catching up on missing doses of MMR).
  • Anyone who has had their appointment cancelled as part of the COVID-19 response should be invited for vaccination as soon as possible.
  • Immunisation should proceed providing those attending for vaccination (including parents and carers) are:
    • well
    • not displaying symptoms of COVID-19 or other infections
    • not self-isolating because they are contacts of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases.
  • Anyone with an acute febrile illness should not be immunised until the condition has resolved.
  • Post-immunisation fever is not a reason to self-isolate

The guidance reiterates advice about the role of paracetamol for management of fever following Meningitis B vaccination – and provides information on options where there may be difficulties obtaining liquid infant paracetamol, including using ibuprofen in line with BNFC recommendations.