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Infectious disease

Influenza vaccination: key facts for general practitioners in Europe—a synthesis by European experts based on national guidelines and best practices in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands

Authors: George Kassianos, Patricia Blank, Oana Falup-Pecurariu, Ernest Kuchar, Jan Kyncl, Raul Ortiz De Lejarazu, Aneta Nitsch-Osuch, Gerrit A Van Essen

In this article the authors aim to harmonise the diagnosis of seasonal influenza and the approach of European general practitioners to vaccination in order to better identify influenza outbreaks and achieve a target vaccination rate of 75% throughout Europe.

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Review of the experiences from the first childhood influenza vaccination programme with a live attenuated influenza vaccine in England and Scotland

Authors: George Kassianos, Sharon White, Arlene J Reynolds, Sankarasubramanian Rajaram

In 2012, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation recommended that the UK National Immunisation Programme for influenza be extended to include healthy children/adolescents aged 2–17 years. The extension of this new immunisation programme began in 2013–2014 and targeted children aged 2–3 years in primary care. This article describes the processes utilised in England and Scotland for programme setup, workforce management, identification and care of contraindicated patients, collection of data on vaccine uptake, communication strategies, and education of parents and children. In light of the lessons learnt from these pilot programmes, the authors make recommendations and offer practical advice to help ensure effective preparation and management of new childhood influenza vaccination programmes in other countries.

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Safety and pharmacokinetics of extended use of palivizumab in Saudi Arabian infants and children

Authors: Saleh al-Alaiyan, Paul Pollack, Gerard F Notario

The peak season of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections in warmer climates may extend beyond the typical five-month RSV season of temperate regions. This study aimed to assess the safety, immunogenicity, and pharmacokinetics of an extended seven-dose regimen of palivizumab in children at high risk for serious infection by the RSV.

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Willingness of European healthcare workers to undergo vaccination against seasonal influenza: current situation and suggestions for improvement

Authors: George Kassianos

Uptake of vaccination against seasonal influenza in healthcare
workers (HCWs) is, in general, low (vaccine coverage of 6–54%), as is awareness of its importance, and has been decreasing in most European Union (EU) countries in recent years. This article clarifies the current situation and makes suggestions for improvement.

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Vaccination against meningitis B: is it worth it?

Authors: Peter English

When a new vaccine is licensed having passed the tests for efficacy and safety, governments who have to pay for it to be used, as in the UK, will carry out a careful economic appraisal before making it generally available. In this challenging article, Dr Peter English discusses whether or not a new vaccine for meningitis that has just been licensed and that could save lives is actually worth it.

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