Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust's Community Immunisations team's annual nasal flu vaccination programme begins in primary schools from October.
Flu is a highly contagious illness which spreads rapidly through coughs, sneezes and ingestion after touching a contaminated surface. The virus can survive on surfaces for many hours therefore, good hand hygiene, with frequent hand washing, is very important.
Immunising children against the flu is also very important. As well as providing protection for the child from this serious, potentially life threatening illness, it also helps to protect friends and family members, including younger siblings.
Those most at risk from the flu virus are also most vulnerable to COVID-19. Due to concerns of the impact of both viruses circulating at the same time, the NHS is keen to do all it can to help protect our community this winter. For this reason, children from Reception to Year 7 will now be offered the Flu vaccination in school. Younger children aged 2 and 3 years will be offered the flu vaccination at their GP surgery.
Information about your child’s vaccination date and how to complete an online consent form will be sent out directly by your child’s school. It is critical that you complete the on-line consent form promptly, as the vaccine cannot be given without this.
View the 2020 flu immunisation schedule here.
Completing the electronic consent form for your child’s flu vaccination
Take a look at our step-by-step video guide on completing the electronic consent form:
Children with health conditions who normally receive the flu vaccination at their GP surgery can also have their vaccination at school with their friends.
Almost all children are eligible to have the flu vaccine as a nasal spray. The nasal spray, containing the live but weakened influenza vaccine, provides the most effective protection for children and young people.
However, it is recognised that gelatine used in the manufacture of the nasal flu vaccine is not acceptable for some parents, therefore, this flu season, parents can choose for their child to receive a gelatine-free injection instead. When making a decision to opt for the injectable vaccine, please be aware that the gelatine-free injection:
- Is less effective than the nasal flu
- An injection into the muscle at the top of the arm can be uncomfortable; therefore your presence may be required
- The injectable vaccine will be available later in the flu season and is dependent on stock levels. This means there may be a delay receiving it
Please talk to your child about the vaccination to prepare them. Child friendly information is available on this website. We also recommend watching our Flu Heroes animated film. It explains what flu is and how the nasal flu vaccine works:
During the school vaccination sessions, staff delivering the vaccine programmes will be complying with COVID-19 safety and infection control practices and will wear PPE in schools.
If you have any further questions about the primary school flu immunisation programme, you can contact the Community Immunisations Team on 0300 3000 007 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust also runs a confidential secure text messaging service for parents of children aged 0-19 years called Chat Health. The service operates Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm, excluding bank holidays.
All texts will be responded to by a health visitor/school nurse within 24 hours. Outside of the service working hours, you’ll receive a message back to inform you that your text will be responded to once the line reopens.
Should you require urgent health advice in the meantime, please contact your GP, visit an NHS walk-in centre or call NHS 111. For emergencies, dial 999 or visit A&E.
Leicester City: text 07520 615 381
Leicestershire & Rutland: text 07520 615 382