The free flu vaccine is being offered to all primary and secondary school children across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG) this winter.
Sirona Care & Health Immunisation Team is visiting schools over the next few months to deliver the vaccine to pupils from reception to year 11.
Flu can be a very unpleasant illness in children causing a fever, a stuffy nose, dry cough, sore throat, aching muscles and joints, and extreme tiredness.
Some children can get a very high fever, sometimes without the usual flu symptoms, and may need to go to hospital for treatment.
The vaccine helps to protect children, their families, friends and the wider community against flu and serious complications such as bronchitis and pneumonia. The vaccine is free and is normally given as a quick nasal spray. For those who cannot receive this, an injection can be offered.
Karen Evans, Sirona’s Head of School Aged Immunisations and Specialist Services, said: “Our teams will be carrying out vaccinations in schools five days a week over the next few months. Having the vaccine will help protect your child from what can be a very nasty illness in children and provide added protection to their families and friends.”
Delivering the programme through schools makes the vaccine more accessible to pupils which results in higher uptake levels.
Over the next couple of weeks, schools will email consent forms to parents and carers who are encouraged to fill them in as soon as possible to ensure their children are protected against the virus this winter. Only those young people with a valid consent will be vaccinated.
Vaccinations will be given to children across BNSSG’s designated special schools, up until their 18th birthday.
Children who are educated at home will be sent an email or letter by their local authority to enable them to attend one of our community clinics from October onwards. Anyone who misses a session at school can also be vaccinated in our community clinics by booking an appointment.
Sirona also offers the injectable flu vaccine to children who are clinically severely immunocompromised and unable to have the nasal spray, or to children who cannot have the spray due to its porcine gelatine content.