Flu Vaccinations for Forth Valley Children

Children at Riverside Primary School in Stirling will be amongst those protected from flu this winter, after receiving the new nasal spray vaccine.

A group of pupils from the school are sheltering under a giant umbrella to highlight that being vaccinated will help cover them from the dangers of flu.

With children two to three times more likely to be ill with flu than adults, the new childhood vaccination programme will help protect youngsters this winter, and reduce the risk of flu being spread to others.

Every child from Stirling aged 2-11 will be offered the nasal spray flu vaccine at their school, from this autumn. In Forth Valley, 8,572 pre-school children and 23,531 primary school children are eligible for the vaccination in 2014/2015.

The childhood flu immunisation programme will be introduced in phases over the coming years, until it is eventually rolled out to all children aged 2-17 years old in Scotland. This is estimated to prevent an additional 200 deaths a year and up to 1,100 hospitalisations.

Throughout the autumn term, parents of primary school children should look for and return the consent form sent home in school bags, so that their child can be vaccinated.

Dr Henry Prempeh, Immunisation Co-ordinator for NHS Forth Valley, said:

“Flu can be very unpleasant for children, and in some cases it can develop into more serious health complications such as bronchitis, pneumonia and middle ear infection.

“The vaccination programme being rolled out in Forth Valley will help protect children and stop the spread of flu viruses, which can lead to serious health problems. It is a simple, pain free process which involves a small amount of the vaccine being sprayed into each nostril, which is then quickly absorbed. It really is the best way to protect children from flu.”

Mrs Kay Roberston, Head Teacher of Riverside Primary School, added:

“I am delighted that children are now being protected from the ill effects of flu. The vaccination will make our school a much healthier place over the winter months as it offers protection against the types of virus that are most likely to be circulating.

“All parents of children at our school have received letters containing information on the flu vaccine, in school bags.”

Find out more about the flu vaccine for children at immunisationscotland.org.uk/childflu or call the NHS inform helpline on 0800 22 44 88.