Children to receive nasal flu vaccinations

Posted: October 29 2015

A simple spray up each nostril will help thousands of children fight against the flu this winter.

Children to receive nasal flu vaccinations

From left: Marlyn Cowan, School Nursing Immunisation Lead and Jill Sharpe, Clinical Lead for School Nursing.

The school health immunisation team at Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust are preparing to roll-out the region’s first ever nasal flu vaccinations for around 34,000 children in school years one and two.

The move has come in the wake of successful pilot schemes across the country by Public Health England.

Jill Sharpe, Clinical Lead for School Nursing, said: “The biggest advantage of the nasal vaccinations is that children are protected from flu which helps to reduce the risk of spreading the infection to friends and family members.

“Our team will be visiting more than 400 schools in Hertfordshire and children in school years one and two will be sent home with an information leaflet and a consent form for parents to sign -  a vaccination cannot be administered until a consent form has been signed and returned to the school.”

The flu vaccine for children is given as a single dose of nasal spray squirted up each nostril. It is needle free, painless and absorbed very quickly. It will still work even if a child has a runny nose, sneezes or blows their nose straight after being vaccinated.

Marlyn Cowan, School Nursing Immunisation Lead, said: “Flu can be a very unpleasant illness in children lasting for several days and causing fever, stuffy nose, dry cough, sore throat, aching muscles and joints, and extreme tiredness.

“There are very few side-affects to the vaccine, the main one being a runny or blocked nose which could last a few days.”

School nurses aim to begin vaccinating from Monday October 12.

For more information, visit the NHS Choices website and search for nasal flu vaccination.

If you are a journalist or media representative requiring further information contact our communications team on (01707) 388148 or via communications@hct.nhs.uk