Immunisation is a cost effective and critical element of preventive care around the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimate that it prevents between two and three million deaths each year.
Nurses have a major role in advising and promoting immunisation. This includes administering vaccinations included in the childhood immunisation programme and those recommended for adults, including travel vaccines and the annual influenza vaccination.
Immunisation policy for the UK is available in Immunisation against infectious diseases – the Green Book. The book includes the rationale for the policy. It also has the individual disease epidemiology and evidence on the efficacy and safety of the appropriate vaccines. It also contains general information on immunisation administration and best practice.
The book is written and updated by the Department of Health in conjunction with the public health agencies across the UK. All health care professionals involved in immunisation should have access to the online version.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advises the UK health departments on immunisations for the prevention of infections and/or disease following due consideration of the evidence on; the burden of disease, on vaccine safety and efficacy and on the impact and cost effectiveness of immunisation strategies.