NHS Tayside’s schools immunisation team is getting ready to offer the flu vaccine to primary school pupils across the region.
As part of this year’s flu immunisation programme, the team will be visiting 164 primary schools in Angus, Dundee and Perth & Kinross over the next 12 weeks to vaccinate up to 32,000 pupils against flu.
Children across Tayside have been given flu immunisation consent packs for parents or carers to complete and return to the school. If anyone has not yet returned their completed consent forms, there is still time to do this before the programme begins.
The children’s flu vaccine is given as a nasal spray, which is quick and painless. Children who can’t have the nasal spray can be offered the vaccine as an injection in the upper arm.
Even healthy children can become seriously ill from flu and can spread it to family, friends and others. Every year in Scotland, children are hospitalised for the treatment of flu or its complications. For children with health conditions getting flu can be even more serious.
However, evidence has shown that where primary school age children were given the vaccine there is a significant reduction in the number of children and adults attending GPs and hospitals with flu like illness.
Consultant in Public Health Medicine Dr Daniel Chandler said: “I would encourage all parents to take up the offer of free flu vaccination in primary school for their child.
“The flu vaccine is quick, safe and effective. It provides the best protection available against an unpredictable virus that can cause severe illness, much worse than just a bad cold.
“Flu can be spread easily by coughs and sneezes, or by touching surfaces where it has landed and then touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
“The vaccine helps protect your child against flu, and reduces the chance of them spreading it to friends and other family members who may be at greater risk. Make sure you complete and return the consent form to avoid missing out.”