NHS birthday card reminders to get kids immunised against disease

GPs are sending birthday cards to newborn babies and toddlers turning one or four to remind parents about keeping immunisation up-to-date.

The birthday card campaign follows outbreaks of measles which have left some children in hospital.

“Deciding not to immunise puts children at risk of potentially serious, even fatal, diseases,” warned Dr Sam Everington who chairs NHS Tower Hamlets clinical commissioning group. “Kids should be immunised at the right age, as early as possible, to minimise infection.”

Immunisation at ages two and five—said to be lower in London than every other NHS region—is available from GPs against 10 potentially serious diseases including meningitis C, measles, diphtheria, mumps, rubella and polio.

The birthday card reminders were launched this week in seven London boroughs, including Tower Hamlets and neighbouring Newham, Waltham Forest and Greenwich, after research found many parents needed reminding which immunisations were due and when.