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News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

GSK data shows impact of pandemic on paediatric vaccine appointments

Health Industry Hub | April 23, 2021 |

Pharma News: In coinciding with World Meningitis Day on Saturday 24 April and recent notifications of meningococcal disease in QLD, it is important to ensure parents stay on top of scheduled healthcare appointments including meningococcal disease.

A new survey shows that almost half (47%) of Australian children’s scheduled meningococcal disease appointments were delayed or cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Concerningly, one in four said they would not be likely to catch up on missed or delayed appointments (27%) post-lockdowns.

The findings come from a multi-country survey led by Ipsos on behalf of GSK. The study captured the views of thousands of parents worldwide, 484 of whom were Australian with children aged between 0-4 years old.

Dr Co Luu, the Vaccines Medical Lead for GSK Australia says that the results showed Australia was doing slightly better than some other countries but that there was still no room for local complacency.

“It’s concerning that half of the Australian parents surveyed either delayed or cancelled scheduled meningococcal disease appointments due to lockdown regulations. However, what is perhaps more concerning is that one in four parents are still unlikely to catch up on any missed or delayed meningococcal disease appointments that happened during that time,” said Dr Luu.

“It’s important parents see their child’s doctor at regular times to ensure they have relevant information for their child’s age group to help protect their family,” added Dr Luu.

Infectious diseases paediatrician Professor Robert Booy says parents should talk to their GP to ensure they comply with their scheduled meningococcal disease appointments for children in the suitable age ranges.

“There will be some hesitancy in the current environment and the survey did find there was still 13% of parents who said they would not reschedule their child’s appointment among ongoing concerns about COVID-19,” said Professor Booy.

“While COVID-19 continues to have an impact on our communities and healthcare systems, health authorities recommend that routine checks and appointments should continue to be administered. Now that appropriate measures are being taken to support a safe return to clinics, it’s time for parents and patients to reach out to their doctors to catch up on missed appointments,” concluded Professor Booy.


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