School health nurse Nikki Bagshaw is mightily busy at Wykham Park Academy in Banbury. Oxford Health immunisation team are currently running their secondary school immunisation programme: human papilloma virus (HPV), tetanus/polio/diphtheria booster and meningitis, and the school health nurses are integral to the smooth running of the session in their school.

It is also an opportunity for young people to catch up with their immunisations if they have missed a vaccine because of school closures or because vulnerable parents were self-isolating.

It’s is Nikki’s third year at Wykham Park Academy, and she absolutely loves her job.

“I just love helping teenagers and young people. We’ve got a really nice team making a difference to young people and we get a real job satisfaction from that,” she says.

Although supporting the delivery and coordination of  immunisations is only a small part of the school health nurses’ wider role, Nikki is passionate about them and the role they play in preventing ill health and keeping young people healthy.

“So many students were unable to have their immunisations in school last year due to the first lockdown,” says Nikki.

“It is really important that we provide opportunities for them to catch up while also completing our usual programmes for young people in Year 8 and 9 this year.”

“In our school we have a lot of vulnerable children, and I’m passionate for them to have their vaccines. I ensure as many young people as possible have a consent form submitted and work with both parents and the school to make this happen. It is very satisfying to see the uptake of immunisations increasing. Immunisation is so important; it is going to protect children,” she says.

April 24 – 30 is the World Immunisation Week, and Oxford Health school nurses and immunisation team are taking it as an opportunity to shine a light on the school aged immunisation programmes. You can contact the team by:

Email:  ImmunisationTeam@Oxfordhealth.nhs.uk

Mobile: 07920 254400

See also: Interview with Susan Mahoney, Immunisation Team Lead