UK’s world-leading role on vaccination at risk, warn MPs

The UK is at risk of losing its position as a global leader on vaccination without action to address challenges around uptake and bureaucratic processes in setting up clinical trials, according to a report by MPs.

The Health and Social Care Committee’s report on vaccination calls for urgent action to tackle declining rates among children, citing concern that England did not meet the 95% target for any routine childhood immunisations in 2021/22. MPs note that England was the only nation of the UK where coverage for all childhood vaccines at all ages was below the target, and coverage rates were consistently below the UK average. The Committee urges a more flexible delivery model to deliver vaccinations to overcome practical challenges over times or locations.

This is the first report to be published by the Committee in its major inquiry into preventing ill-health with ten workstreams being examined.

Read the report

Responding to this report, we have released the following statement.

Our Director of NHS Services, Alastair Buxton, said:

“We wholeheartedly agree that, subject to the right funding and support, the easily accessible network of pharmacies could provide a much wider range of NHS vaccination programmes

“Community pharmacies are already one of the most popular and accessible places for people to receive vaccinations such as Covid and flu, and we have been advocating for them to have a bigger role in NHS programmes, giving the public the convenience and service that they want and taking pressure off our general practice colleagues. We hope the publication of the upcoming NHS vaccination strategy will bring good news on this.”