Secondary school pupils will join all primary school children in Scotland in being eligible for this year’s flu vaccine, given as a painless nasal spray at school.
Consent packs containing a letter, leaflet and consent form will be sent home to parents and carers of primary school children, and consent forms must be returned within seven days. Secondary school pupils will also receive a digital leaflet.
Fiona Coan, NHS Forth Valley’s immunisation team manager, said: “Flu is serious and can result in even healthy children and teenagers ending up in hospital.
"This winter, our immunity may be lower than usual due to lower levels of the flu virus circulating last year while the crucial public health measures were in place.
"Getting the flu vaccine nasal spray is the best way to protect your child and those around them and will help prevent the flu virus putting extra strain on NHS Forth Valley’s services this winter.
“It’s more crucial than ever that as many eligible people as possible get vaccinated against flu, so please ensure that your child’s completed consent form is returned on time if you wish them to receive the vaccine. If you have any concerns about the vaccine, you can visit www.nhsinform.scot or speak to a health or immunisation team, practice nurse, or GP.”
The flu vaccine will be given in schools between September and December. The flu virus changes every year, so you need to get the vaccine every year to stay protected. The flu vaccine cannot give you flu, but it can stop you catching it.
The Covid-19 vaccine does not offer any protection from flu, you need to get the separate flu vaccine.
In a small number of cases, the nasal spray may not be suitable, and the vaccine can be given as an injection in the arm instead.