Youngsters offered vaccine in school

Children in primary school will receive the vaccine via nasal spray

Children in primary school will receive the vaccine via nasal spray

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Around 24,000 primary school children from across Forth Valley will be offered the flu vaccine this winter.

The immunisations, which will be carried out over the next three months, are part of a national campaign to protect children between the ages of two and 11 against the virus.

The vaccinations for primary school aged children will be carried out during school hours with children in P1 to P7 being offered the nasal spray, Fluenz Tetra.

The programme is being delivered in collaboration with local authority education departments.

Dr Henry Prempeh, NHS Forth Valley consultant in public health medicine and immunisation co-ordinator said: “This vaccine offers excellent protection against the types of flu virus which are most likely to be circulating this winter, protecting children against a nasty infectious disease which could end up with them having to be treated in hospital. Evaluation of last year’s programme confirmed just how beneficial vaccinating children has been to all age groups, adults and children.”

The childhood flu immunisation programme is an extension of the annual flu vaccination scheme which targets the over 65s or those with chronic illnesses. During last year’s campaign, NHS Forth Valley achieved the highest uptake of the flu vaccine by over 65s compared to the rest of Scotland.