The flu vaccine provides protection against the strains of seasonal influenza that the World Health Organization (WHO) specifies as the most likely to cause disease each year.
Flu can be very unpleasant for children and for adults. Children have the same symptoms as adults – including fever, aching muscles, headache, runny nose, dry cough and sore throat lasting up to a week. Some children can develop complications such as chest or ear infections, and spread the infection to others.
The vaccine is given to school aged children to lower the impact of flu; it also means that there is a lower risk of passing flu on to other children. Finally it lessens the risk of some of our older, frail and at risk adults from catching Flu.
Kernow Health Clinicians will offer the vaccine in schools, whilst GPs will be continuing to offering vaccines for younger children (in reception year and younger) and also children who have asthma, diabetes or any other long term condition.
The two main ways to prevent the spread of diseases and infections are hand washing, closely followed by immunisation. Immunisations are estimated to save between two and three million deaths each year around the world.
Our vaccination programme
Our vaccination programme is delivered by a range of clinical professionals who are used to working with Children and Young People. Many of our staff already work in General Practice.
The vaccinations we deliver in schools and education settings are:
- Nasal Flu in Primary schools to years Reception, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6;
- The HPV vaccine to girls aged 12 -13 to protect against cervical cancer;
- A year 9 (13 – 14) teenage booster for all girls and boys for diphtheria, polio and tetanus;
- A year 9 (13 – 14) vaccination for girls and boys against meningitis.
Due to poor immunisation uptake within general practice, NHS England has commissioned Kernow Health to deliver the above named immunisations within the school setting.
How is it Given
The Flu vaccine for children is given as a single dose of nasal spray squirted up each nostril. Not only is there no needle, the nasal spray works even better than the injected flu vaccine with not so many side effects. It is quick and painless and will mean you are less likely to become ill if you come into contact with the Flu virus.
There is a short video about Flu and how it is given below
Q&A on Flu Immunisations here
One of the main things that your parents or family members will need to think about is giving consent for you to be given the vaccine. Sometimes young people can give consent for themselves, depending on their age and how well they understand about the risks to their health.
The School Immunisation Service will issue consent forms to each school / education facility.. It is really important that your school give you the consent form, that you give it to the person who will sign it and that it is returned to school in time for you to be vaccinated. On the day we come into schools our staff will check the consent form and they will ensure you are well and able to have their immunisations on that day. If you are unwell or absent we will arrange for you to attend a catch up clinic.