85,000 primary school pupils to get Flu vaccine

A team of 29 health staff are now visiting nine primary schools every day until mid December in a mission to immunise 85,000 school pupils against flu.

The school immunisation teams are visiting all 343 primary schools across Greater Glasgow and Clyde between now and the beginning of December.

The vaccine is given as a single spray squirted up each nostril and is absorbed very quickly. It will still work even if, after the vaccination, a child sneezes or blows their nose.

Virus

Children have the highest flu attack rates and are more likely to pass on the virus to family, friends as well as the wider community.

Evidence from Public Health England has shown that where primary school age children have been given the nasal spray vaccine there is a significant reduction in the number of children and adults attending GPs and hospitals with flu like illness.

Annual vaccination

Linda de Caestecker, NHSGGC’s Director of Public Health, said: “The national flu immunisation programme is always a massive piece of work for the health board.

“If a primary pupil was immunised against flu last year it is important they get the vaccine again this year, as the virus keeps changing.

“Last year’s vaccine may not protect against this year’s viruses so annual re-vaccination is advised to guard against any risk of reduced immunity.

“Flu needs to be taken seriously – it’s not the same as the common cold and the virus can have an immediate and severe effect.

“We target hundreds of thousands of people from pregnant women to the elderly on top of all of our primary school pupils. We start in October to give as many people as possible the chance to get immunised before the flu typically starts to do the rounds in December.

“The vaccine is the best protection we have against an unpredictable virus which causes severe illness and deaths each year. Children are particularly susceptible to the flu which is why we put such a big emphasis on immunising them."

Further information can be viewed at www.immunisationscotland.org.uk.