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.
Getting flu and other viral infections can increase the risk of invasive Group A Strep infection in the following weeks. Invasive Group A Strep infections increased during the 2009-10 flu pandemic.
The flu vaccine reduces the risk of having flu and group A Strep infections at the same time therefore it reduces the chance of developing invasive Group A Strep. We strongly recommend children who are eligible get a flu vaccine – it’s the best way to protect them from serious illness.
The flu vaccine for children has an excellent safety record, this includes the nasal spray given to school aged children and pre-schoolers, which has been given to millions of children in the UK and worldwide.
The Flu vaccine
This annual vaccine is usually given via nasal spray and is therefore well tolerated by little ones as well as those who may be older.
The nasal spray, Fluenz Tetra, is a Live Vaccine. Some children may not be able to have this vaccine due to certain medical conditions or religious reasons (the vaccine contains traces of a highly processed form of gelatine (porcine gelatine) and may therefore require the inactivated injected flu vaccine instead.
It is preferable to only administer the inactivated vaccine when there is a medical reason to do so as the nasal spray is much more effective and has less side effects.
Asthma and the Flu vaccine
If your child is asthmatic and in the 3 days (72hrs) before the vaccination session
- they have increased wheezing
- have increased the use of their Bronchodilator
- 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.
Page last reviewed: 26 August, 2023