Vaccinations and contagious diseases update

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The BMA calls for dedicated measles management funding and Covid jabs go on sale after the latest NHS eligibility criteria announcement.

Measles and MMR catch up

On 31 January the BMA’s General Practitioners Committee wrote to NHS England raising concerns around the workload associated with providing MMR catch-up jabs and the impact of managing patients with symptoms of measles in practices. Their letter calls for an enhanced service to be created to properly resource the additional activity.

Our update from January collates various information and resources relating to measles.

Covid vaccinations

On 7 February the Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI) confirmed that the eligibility categories for spring 2024 NHS Covid jabs are:

  • adults aged 75 years and over
  • residents in a care home for older adults
  • individuals aged 6 months and over who are immunosuppressed

The full JCVI recommendations are here.

In the days following the JCVI announcement news outlets reported that one private provider has started taking bookings to provide the Novavax vaccine from 1 April onwards for £45 per jab. Pfizer are reported to be looking to make their vaccine available on the high street in March and Moderna are aiming for the autumn, exact dates and prices are yet to be confirmed.

Tuberculosis prevalence

On 15 February the UK Health Security Agency published its most recent tuberculosis data, covering up to the end of 2022. Once again London has the highest rates in England, as rates rebounded slightly after the lows seen during Covid restrictions.

The highest rates within London were within Newham, Harrow, Ealing and Brent, which all exceed 30 cases per 100,000. The London average is 17.9 and the English average 7.75.