Best year for uptake of nasal flu immunisation for Hertfordshire children

Posted: February 7 2019

Best year for uptake of nasal flu immunisation for Hertfordshire children

Sebastian receives his painless nasal spray flu vaccination

“Cold and a bit tickly” - this was the children’s general reaction after receiving their nasal flu immunisation at a clinic in St Albans recently.

Nurses from Vaccination UK (VUK) deliver this service across the county, on behalf of Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust (HCT). The turnout has been very encouraging with the vaccination programme already reaching a 65 per cent uptake of school-aged children across Hertfordshire. This represents the best year since the start of the trust’s immunisation initiative in 2013.

So what are the reasons behind the success of the campaign? Project co-ordinator for VUK, Hannah Chalkley said: “I think it’s the passion we all have for children’s health, but also the positive working relationship we enjoy with Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust. This has all helped contribute to the success of the nasal flu immunisation roll-out.”
The high turnout by families has resulted in HCT being named as one of the top performing trusts in England for school-aged immunisation.

Operational lead for the School Aged Immunisation Service at HCT, Caroline Shepherd explains: “The flu season starts in September, with every school across Hertfordshire contacted by VUK and given details about when and where their child will be vaccinated. Any child who cannot be seen in school is then invited to a number of catch-up clinics across Hertfordshire. By getting more of the county’s population vaccinated, we achieve a greater impact on reducing the spread of flu. That then protects the more vulnerable members of society, including children.”
The ease, speed and pain-free delivery of the nasal vaccine are proving not just popular with the children but also their mums and dads.

Seven year-old Zara from London Colney in Hertfordshire said: “It felt quite tickly and a little bit cold. It feels like it goes quite far up my nose but actually it doesn’t!”

One mother Sarah watched as her son Sebastian received his pain-free nasal spray. She had some sound advice for any parents of children, who had concerns about receiving the vaccination. “Why would you not have it? It’s so easy – just a simple spray up the nose with no pain, discomfort or concern experienced by the child. It’s also a responsibility to the community, because once you’re vaccinated, you don’t risk passing it on to the more vulnerable members in your community.”

Watch this short film of the nasal vaccination in action and how Hertfordshire children took it in their stride.

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