Doctors urge vaccine rollout after 80% dip in infant hospitalisations

Children’s doctors are demanding a jab to be urgently rolled out after a trial found it slashed infants needing hospital treatment during winter by 80%.

The vaccine protects against respiratory syncytial virus, a cold-like bug common in under-twos that kills 30 tots each year.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation advised ministers in June to launch an RSV jab programme for vulnerable infants and elderly.

Dr Camilla Kingdon, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said it was too late for this winter but for next year “we’ve really got to get our skates on”.

The RCPCH said RSV cases for two months cause planned child treatments to “grind to a halt”.

The Department for Health and Social Care said it was exploring the feasibility of a vaccination rollout and “a final decision will be made in due course”.

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