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Flu vaccination delayed over Muslim pork concerns

Part of a pilot programme to vaccinate schoolchildren in Scotland against flu has been delayed over concerns from the Muslim community that it contains traces of pork, the BBC reports.

Pupils in Scotland can opt for an injected vaccine which contains no gelatine
Pupils in Scotland can opt for an injected vaccine which contains no gelatine Credit: Bodo Marks/DPA/Press Association Images

Pupils at 100,000 primary schools are being offered the Fluenz vaccine as a nasal spray, but parents have raised concerns that the spray contains gelatine which is derived from pork.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, whose area contains most of Scotland's Muslims, said it had put back the rollout of the vaccinations "following concerns raised by a small number of parents".

Scottish health minister Michael Matheson said an investigation including Muslim scholars had concluded that the sprays could be used, but added that anyone with concerns could opt for a standard jab.

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Dr Hilary: Vaccinations are 'good protection for future'

A mass immunisation programme that will provide jabs free of charge for a range of diseases affecting the young and old will be introduced this year by the Department of Health.

Speaking to Daybreak, Dr Hilary said: "These are vaccinations which have been used in different parts of the world, proven their safety record and offers really good protection for the future."

Vaccinations to target common cause of diarrhoea in kids

The Department of Health has today announced that the planned rotavirus vaccination programme will start in July.

All babies aged between two and four months will be vaccinated against a highly infectious bug that is one of the most common causes of diarrhoea in children.

At present, almost every child will have had the viral infection by the age of five. It is the most common cause of gastroenteritis in infants and very young children.

Dr Mary Ramsay, head of immunisation at Public Health England, said that the oral vaccine is "very easy to administer" to young babies and that it has already been very effective in the US and parts of Europe.

Read: Health Department launches mass vaccination drive

Two-year-olds to be offered flu jab from September

All children aged two to 17 are to be given the flu vaccination through a nasal spray, the Health Department announced today.

Two-year-olds will be offered the flu vaccine via a nasal spray from September
Two-year-olds will be offered the flu vaccine via a nasal spray from September Credit: Niall Carson/PA Wire

The programme was supposed to be rolled out throughout 2014 but experts today said that two-year-olds will be offered the spray from September this year.

The UK will become the first country to offer the flu vaccine to healthy children free of charge.

Healthy children are among those who are least likely to develop complications from being infected by flu, but their close contact with each other means they are more likely to transmit the virus to one another and other vulnerable people.

Seventy-year-olds to be offered free shingles jab

People over the age of 70 are to be offered routine shingles vaccinations in a move to prevent thousands of cases each year, officials said.

The viral infection affects more than 30,000 pensioners in England every year, but experts hope that a new vaccination programme could cut out 40% of cases.

The Department of Health has announced that people aged 70 will be able to get the Zostavax vaccine on the NHS from September, and that people aged up to 79 will be able to take part in a "catch up programme".

At present, some pay between £150 and £200 to get the jab privately.

Read: Health Department launches mass vaccination drive

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Health Department launches mass vaccination drive

The Department of Health is today announcing a mass immunisation scheme that will offer vaccines free of charge for a range of diseases affecting the young and old.

The mass vaccinations drive will affect people aged from just a few months up to 79
The mass vaccinations drive will affect people aged from just a few months up to 79 Credit: REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

The programme of vaccinations will target shingles among those over the age of 70, flu amongst those aged between 2 and 17, and rotavirus in under-fives.

Professor David Salisbury, director of immunisation at the department, said: "We already have a world class vaccination programme in place, which saves millions of lives each year, so I'm pleased that we will be able to protect even more people".

"By offering new vaccines to two groups at the opposite end of the age scale, we can protect our most vulnerable against potentially harmful diseases."

Weekend vaccination to combat Measles outbreak

The number of confirmed cases of measles in the Swansea epidemic has risen to 588, Public Health Wales has confirmed.

The latest figure shows 40 new cases of the disease since Wednesday.

Special vaccination clinics have been arranged for this weekend due to the increase in cases.
Special vaccination clinics have been arranged for this weekend due to the increase in cases. Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Up to 20 new cases a day are being reported by GPs, with 109 new ones in a week over the Easter period.

Health officials have estimated around 3,800 children in the Swansea area have still not had the MMR vaccine and parents are being asked to act.

Special vaccination clinics have been arranged for this weekend, as fears grow about the virus spreading to neighbouring areas.

Read: For more on this story visit ITV Wales.

Read: Growing concern over measles outbreak in South Wales

West Country (E)

Mother threatening to sue after swine flu jab

Caroline Hadfield believes her son developed narcolepsy after having the swine flu jab.
Caroline Hadfield believes her son developed narcolepsy after having the swine flu jab. Credit: Fred Lancelot/ABACAPRESS.COM

A mother from Somerset is threatening to sue the government after new figures show a link between the swine flu jab and Narcolepsy.

Caroline Hadfield says her son Josh, 4, developed the condition within three months of the injection. She says he was a perfectly healthy and energetic child before the vaccination but now sleeps for 19 hours a day.

Researchers create needle-free vaccine out of sugar

Researchers have developed a new way to administer vaccines without an injection which they hope could combat diseases like HIV and Malaria more cheaply and safely.

They have developed a patch that is made up of rows of tiny spikes moulded in sugar. When the patch is pressed to skin, the spikes dissolve carrying the dried vaccine into the body.

Somebody holding up the injection-free vaccine Credit: King's College London

The researchers at King's College in London say the technique may one day be used in poor countries where the costs of refrigerating vaccines in prohibitive.

The patches also eliminate the risks of infecting people with contaminated needles and are pain-free.

Dr Linda Klavinskis of King’s College London, said: "This new technique represents a huge leap forward in overcoming the challenges of delivering a vaccination programme for diseases such as HIV and malaria."

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