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NHS Vaccination and Immunisation Services

Volume 742: debated on Wednesday 13 December 2023

In 2019 the Government’s manifesto committed to continue to promote the uptake of vaccines via a national vaccination strategy. I am pleased to announce that on Wednesday 13 December NHS England published that strategy.

Vaccination saves lives and protects people’s health. It ranks second only to clean water as the most effective public health intervention to prevent disease. Through vaccination, diseases that were previously common are now rare, and millions of people each year are protected from severe illness and death.

Building on the success of our world-leading NHS covid-19 vaccination programme, which has delivered over 150 million vaccinations to date, and learning from many decades of successful immunisation delivery, NHS England, in collaboration with the Department of Health and Social Care, the UK Health Security Agency and other partners, has developed a strategic direction for the delivery of vaccination services, focused on improving uptake and coverage of all vaccinations across the whole population while reducing disparities of uptake in under-served communities. To do so, the strategy aims to:

Simplify and streamline access to vaccinations, including extending online booking capability;

improve access for people who are currently under-served by offering vaccination through community-based, targeted approaches; and

deliver vaccination through flexible, integrated, neighbourhood teams that can deliver other preventative interventions alongside vaccination.

The strategy proposes that integrated care boards have the responsibility and flexibility to deliver these aims through local vaccination delivery networks that are tailored to the needs of local people. These local networks will be underpinned by timely, accurate data flows and responsive vaccine supply chains. Local systems will have a robust plan for managing disease outbreaks and surge responses, collaboratively developed with partners including local government, and setting out clear roles and responsibilities.

In developing this strategy, NHS England has sought the views of a wide range of stakeholders, including service users via a public survey, GPs, community pharmacy, NHS trusts and directors of public health. Stakeholder input has been invaluable in developing an ambitious plan for the future of vaccination delivery, as well as describing what should be retained, improved and adapted from the current approach to ensure that it meets everyone’s needs.

The strategy supports NHS England’s ambition to eliminate cervical cancer by 2040, with England among the first places in the world to set this ambition within the next two decades, by making it as easy as possible for people to get the lifesaving human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination and increasing cervical screening uptake.

A copy of the strategy will be deposited in the Libraries of both Houses.