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Overwhelming majority of primary care nurses support compulsory childhood vaccination

Overwhelming majority of primary care nurses support compulsory childhood vaccination

Three-quarters of practice and community nurses believe vaccination should be compulsory in childhood, according to a report on the state of primary care.

The survey found that 73% of primary care nurses – including advanced nurse practitioners, and practice, community and district nurses – are in favour of compulsory vaccination, with 18% against the idea.

The annual State of Primary Care report, released today by Nursing in Practice’s publisher Cogora, surveyed more than 3,000 practice nurses, ANPs and other primary care professionals during November and December last year.

It also found almost two-thirds (65%) of nurses agreed that childhood compulsory vaccination would increase uptake, though district nurses were the least convinced.

It stated: ‘Fewer district nurses than any others in the nurse cohort said making immunisation compulsory would positively impact uptake rates – just over half (54%) agreed that it would.’

In contrast, pharmacists surveyed were ‘overwhelmingly in agreement’ that compulsory vaccination would improve uptake with 91% answering ‘yes’, while 78% of GPs said the same.

Overall, most GPs, pharmacists and healthcare assistants supported compulsory vaccination.

Two-thirds (66%) of all respondents and 67% of nurses think ‘anti-vax’ messaging on social media is the main cause of poor vaccination uptake.

Other reasons cited for low uptake rates included the chaotic lifestyle of families, with 14% of nurses naming that as the main driver.

The survey results come as GP practices are ramping up remote consultations during the escalating coronavirus outbreak, though ‘essential’ work such as childhood immunisations will continue.

A total of 3,610 healthcare professionals responded to the survey, which is Cogora’s seventh annual report examining the state of primary care.