Guidance

Childhood flu programme: This guidance document, aimed at healthcare professionals focuses on the childhood flu programme recommendations for 2020 to 2021. With the circulation of COVID-19, the childhood flu vaccine programme has been extended to include all children in Year 7 in secondary schools. As part of the 2020-2021 recommendations, all children between 2 and 11 years old on 31 August 2020 and children from 6 months of age in clinical risk groups should be offered flu vaccine. The document also includes guidance on PPE, infection prevention and control measures for those delivering this year’s childhood flu vaccine.

Mental health data and analysis: This guidance document is aimed at commissioners and public health professionals to support the use of the data and resource tools collated by Public Health England in order to make or influence decisions about local mental health services. The data is grouped by clinical commissioning group or local authority, meaning the tools can be used to benchmark one area against another and can also be used to see trends and compare indicators.

Reports

Impact of physical distancing measures due to COVID-19 pandemic in England on childhood vaccination counts: This report assess the early impact of physical distancing measures on the delivery of childhood vaccinations (for MMR and dose 1 Hexavelent) by evaluating the aggregated weekly vaccination counts provided by the GP IT supplier The Phoenix Partnership (TPP) in 2019 vs 2020. The results indicated that initially, MMR vaccination counts for children aged 12 to 18 months dropped almost 20% in the first weeks after introduction of physical distancing compared to the same period in 2019. First dose Hexavalent vaccination counts for infants younger than six months gradually declined, though not accentuated by the physical distancing. The vaccination counts then increased in weeks 16 and 17 despite physical distancing measures remaining in place.

Challenges for the childcare market: During lockdown, fewer than 250,000 children aged 0 to 4 were attending childcare on a given day, compared to around 1.4 million before the pandemic. This report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies assesses the consequences of the pandemic and the resultant public health response on the finances of early years childcare providers. The report also summaries the packages of support available to providers to help cope with the loss of demand. Finally, it discusses how changes to providers’ finances might affect capacity in the sector, and whether and how the government might intervene to support providers.

Research

Association Between Maternal Perinatal Depression and Anxiety and Child and Adolescent Development: This meta-analysis, published in JAMA aimed to investigate the associations between maternal perinatal depression and offspring development. Of the 27, 212 articles identified, 191 were eligible for the meta-analysis. The results showed that maternal perinatal depression and anxiety were associated with poorer offspring social-emotional, cognitive, language, motor, and adaptive behaviour development with findings extending into childhood and adolescence. Thus, it is important to prevent and provide early interventions to support mothers transitioning into parenthood.

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