The rollout of the free flu vaccination for children is continuing in Wolverhampton's schools – with thousands of pupils now fully fledged Flu Fighters!
Nurses from Vaccination UK are visiting secondary schools across the city, including Thomas Telford UTC where they gave hundreds of vaccinations via a painless nasal spray on Friday (2 December, 2022).
Imran Chaudhry, Assistant Principal, said: “At Thomas Telford UTC we always support school vaccinations to help safeguard our students by making sure they are protected against infections and diseases.
"The flu vaccine is quick and easy to administer and provides our students with the best defence against the flu. We understand the impact illness can have on important learning time and are happy to work alongside the School Vaccination team to promote immunisations for our students.”
Logan Clarke, a Year 8 pupil who received his vaccine on Friday, said: “I had my flu vaccine as I want to stay protected against the flu and I want my family and friends, and everyone around me, to stay safe, too.
“Getting the vaccine was really quick and easy and it didn’t hurt. They squirted the liquid into each nostril, I had to sniff up and then it was over. My nose started running a little bit, but I just patted it down with a tissue. If people are offered the flu vaccine I think they should definitely get it.”
Dr Tania Hussain, local GP and Primary Care Clinical Lead for Maternity, Children and Young People for the NHS Black Country Integrated Care Board, said: "I would really strongly encourage parents to consider getting their children vaccinated against the flu.
"It will help prevent your child getting seriously unwell with the flu or developing serious complications. It also protects you, your friends and family members who may be extremely vulnerable, such as the elderly and very young babies.
"There's no injection involved, so there are no needles and, of course, it's better than having the flu. The vaccine doesn't stop people from getting the flu but it will reduce their risk of it and, if your child were to get the flu, it's much milder and they will recover much more quickly."
Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "I was delighted to be able to join students at Thomas Telford UTC as they received their vaccinations on Friday.
"Flu can be deadly and easily spread by young people and adults, and the free vaccine is the best way to protect our children and other family members, so I would encourage students to get vaccinated so they can become Flu Fighters this winter."
All children from Reception to Year 9 are eligible for the vaccination in school this year. Consent forms, available at Vaccination UK, should be completed at least 48 hours before vaccinations are due to be given in school.
Children aged 2 and 3, and children with some long term health conditions, are also eligible for the nasal spray, with their vaccinations given at their local GP surgery.
The vaccination is available by injection if parents do not wish their child to have the nasal spray, or if children are unable to have it for medical reasons, for instance if they have a supressed immune system or severe egg allergy.
To find out more about the flu vaccine for children, read the answers to frequently asked questions and to download or watch the 4 exciting Flu Fighters stories for children, Flu Fighters Versus Chilly, Achy and Snotty, Flu Fighters in The Battle of Planet Bogey, Flu Fighters in Close Encounters of the Germed Kind and Flu Fighters on a Vacc-tastic Voyage, please visit Flu Vaccines.