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School Age Immunisation Service go back to school for flu vaccinations

A group of women are smiling and waving at the camera in a community vaccination clinic.
06 September 2023

As children all across the country head back to school, Sheffield Children’s School Age Immunisation Service (SAIS) are getting ready to do the same.

During the first school term, the SAIS will visit every school in the Sheffield region to deliver the seasonal flu vaccine.

Sheffield Children’s was awarded the contract to provide this vaccine earlier this year, in addition to the current vaccinations already delivered by the SAIS, which includes routine Meningitis, Typhoid/Diphtheria/Polio, HPV. The SAIS therefore already has extensive knowledge in this field and schools, and parents and carers can rest assured that their children are in the hands of specialists.

The flu vaccine for children can be given in two ways, which are both effective and safe. Usually it’s given as a nasal spray, which may be slightly more effective for children and young people (between 2 and 18 years). However, the nasal spray also contains porcine content (gelatine) which may not be suitable for everyone. If parents or carers would prefer their child not to receive the nasal spray vaccine due to this porcine content, another form of immunisation can be offered. The second way is by injection, which does not contain any porcine content. Parents should contact the SAIS team if they would prefer their child to receive the vaccine by injection.

Natalea Wiles, 0-19 Team Leader SAIS Team said: “The vaccine is really important because by immunising younger people it helps protect them from the effects of flu, and also vulnerable people in our wider community. Children can catch and spread flu easily, and it’s not a nice illness for them to have. It can also lead to serious problems, such as bronchitis and pneumonia.”

Parents will receive an email or text about the flu immunisation from their child’s school in good time before the SAIS visit, which will ask them to provide their e-consent.

More information is available on the School Age Immunisation Service webpage.

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