Flu

The Flu vaccine is delivered in schools each year from late September to mid December. The cohort changes year on year and is confirmed in the preceding summer months by NHS England. You will receive details on how to consent for the vaccination through school at the beginning of the Autumn term and we would request that you complete the Consent Form as soon as it is received to ensure your child is vaccinated in the school session.

If your child is educated at home you will receive a letter from SAIS with details of how to consent and an online link to book an appointment in a community clinic.

Why should my child have the vaccine?

Flu is an unpleasant and occasionally serious illness which can lead to children spending days in bed rather than being at school and participating in everyday family life. It can also have serious complications such as bronchitis and pneumonia.

Children catch and spread flu easily so vaccinating not only protects them but also those around them including those who are elderly, vulnerable or unwell. This is even more important now with Covid 19 still present.

The Flu vaccine

This annual vaccine, is usually given via a nasal spray and is therefore very well tolerated by little ones as well as those who may be older (up to aged 18yrs)! The nasal spray, Fluenz Tetra, is a live vaccine and due to it being live some children may not be able to have it and will require the inactivated injected vaccination. It is preferable to only administer the inactivated vaccine when there is a medical reason to do so. The nasal spray is much more effective and has less side effects.

Fluenz Tetra uses porcine gelatine as a stabiliser during the manufacturing process, however there is no porcine DNA present in the administered vaccine due to it being so highly processed.

If you object to the gelatine content of the nasal vaccine, then the injectable vaccine may be given in school as an alternative. This can be consented for through the normal process but at the point of consenting for the nasal vaccine please indicate NO and you will be directed to consent for the alternative injectable flu vaccine.

Asthma and the Flu vaccine 

If your child is asthmatic and in the 3 days (72hrs) before the vaccination session

  • they have increased wheezing

and/or

  • have increased the use of their Bronchodilator

and/or

  • if they are currently taking or have been prescribed steroid tablets to control their asthma in the two weeks prior to the vaccination session in school

It is important that you tell us as we may not be able to safely administer the nasal vaccine. On the day of vaccination please call the number on your Flu Consent Letter and provide a written note with your child’s name, dob, year group and the updating information to be given to the vaccination team on the day of vaccination. If your child is too young to be able to do this please hand the letter to the school reception and ask that it is given to the vaccination team as they arrive and mark it as urgent.

Further information

Page last reviewed: 6 September, 2022