It's World Immunisation Week, with people urged to make sure they are up to date with their vaccinations.

The focus of the annual World Health Organisation campaign this year is 'the big catch up’ – to get vaccination uptake back on track following the Covid-19 pandemic and ensure more people are protected from preventable diseases. 

John Denley, Wolverhampton’s Director of Public Health, said: “Vaccination is one of the greatest public health interventions in saving lives and promoting good health. 

“Immunisation protects not only the individual but also the population from preventable diseases which can cause serious illness as well as death. 

“Vaccines cannot give the disease they are designed to prevent and, if not enough people are vaccinated, diseases that have become uncommon like whooping cough, polio and measles will quickly re-emerge. 

"It's important that vaccines are given when they are due for the best protection, but if you or your child missed a vaccine, contact your GP to catch up."

The UK's national immunisation programme starts from 2 months of age and continues to the age of 65 and over, providing protection against a range of vaccine preventable infections including diphtheria, haemophilus influenzae type b, hepatitis B, HPV, flu, measles, meningococcal disease, mumps, whooping cough, pneumococcal disease, polio, rotavirus, rubella, shingles and tetanus. 

Other vaccines are available for those with complex health needs or those who are more at risk. More information on the vaccination schedule can be found at Vaccinations, which also includes facts and myths about vaccination.

If your child has missed their diphtheria, tetanus and polio teenage booster vaccination, the HPV vaccination or the meningitis ACWY vaccination in school or if your child is home educated and has not received these vaccinations when they are due, Vaccination UK will be holding catch up clinics on Tuesday 30 May at Bizspace, Planetary Road, Willenhall and Saturday 10 June at the Mander Centre Health Hub, opposite Rymans. To make an appointment, please call 01902 200077.

Organised by the World Health Organisation, World Immunisation Week aims to highlight the collective action needed to protect people from vaccine preventable diseases. It aims to catch up the millions of children globally who missed out on vaccines during the pandemic and restore essential immunisation coverage to at least 2019 levels so that more children, adults and communities are protected from vaccine preventable diseases, allowing them to live happier, healthier lives. 

For more information, please visit World Immunization Week 2023.