Oxfordshire parents urged to get their children protected from flu

A campaign to get young people in Oxfordshire protected from the flu is gathering pace with more than 80,000 likely to be eligible across the county.

Oxfordshire parents urged to get their children protected from flu

Oxford Health is urging parents and carers to respond to emails from the Trust giving details of how to give consent for the young person to be vaccinated now that the annual national school-based Flu vaccination programme is well underway.

The Trust is currently delivering the vaccination to pupils in 300 schools in the Reception to Year 6 age group until mid-December.

Fiona Singleton, Oxford Health’s School Aged Immunisation Service Operational Manager, said: “If you have had a letter or email from us I urge you to read it and respond if you haven’t already.

“Flu can be a really unpleasant illness for children and sometimes causes serious complications. The good news is that vaccination greatly reduces the risk and protects the vaccinated person and those around them.

“Children can catch and spread flu easily so vaccinating them also protects others who are vulnerable such as babies and older people. This is particularly important as COVID-19 is still circulating and people at risk of flu are also vulnerable to the complications of COVID-19.”

Later in the season, from January onwards, some secondary aged children will also be offered vaccination across a further 54 schools.

Parents and carers are being written to by the Trust to seek consent for their children to receive the vaccine. Giving consent is essential as the vaccine won’t be given without it and all the information needed to do it is provided in the letter which will be emailed to you by your child’s school. If your child is educated at home you will receive a letter direct form the Trust.

If you don’t receive your letter please email the Immunisation Team at immunisationteam@oxfordhealth.nhs.uk

For most children, the vaccination is given by a quick and simple spray up the nose. In some circumstances it is necessary to administer the vaccine by injection, but this is always discussed with parents/carers beforehand. You may also choose for the vaccination to be administered by Intramuscular injection if you object to the nasal vaccination due to it containing porcine gelatine.

There is more information on the flu vaccinations in the Primary age leaflet Flu Leaflet Child flu vaccine – NHS or Secondary age leaflet Flu Leaflet Child flu vaccine – NHS  which include details about the programme and the small number of children who may not be able to have the nasal spray. Further information about the School Aged Immunisation Service can also be found on their dedicated website at  Oxfordshire SAIS – Oxford Health NHS Foundation TrustOxfordshire School Aged Immunisation Service

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Published: 29 November 2022