More Children Offered Flu Vaccine

A newly created immunisation team will this week (beginning Monday September 28th) start vaccinating primary school pupils against flu. Over the next three months, the vaccine will be offered to around 24,000 Forth Valley youngsters..

The vaccinations will be carried out during school hours with children in P1 – P7 being offered the nasal spray, Fluenz Tetra®. The programme is being delivered in collaboration with local authority education departments.

Fluenz Tetra® will also be offered to around 8,700 pre- school children from the age of two to 5 years of age in primary care who will receive the vaccine from their GPs.

NHS Forth Valley Consultant in Public Health Medicine and Immunisation Co-ordinator, Dr Henry Prempeh said: “This vaccine offers excellent protection against the types of flu virus which are most likely to be circulating this winter, protecting children against a nasty disease which could end up with them having to be treated in hospital.”

The childhood flu immunisation programme is an extension to the existing annual flu vaccination which targets people aged over 65 or those under 65 with chronic illnesses which can make flu much more dangerous. These include people with heart disease, chest complaints such as bronchitis, emphysema or asthma, chronic kidney failure, cystic fibrosis, lowered immunity due to disease or treatment, diabetes or liver problems. Pregnant women and unpaid carers are also eligible for vaccination.

During the 2014/15 campaign NHS Forth Valley again achieved the highest uptake of the flu vaccine by over 65s (79.2%) and unpaid carers (63.2%) compared with Scotland as a whole where the average uptake was 51.5%.