We deliver the nasal flu vaccination programme to all schools in Somerset between October and December every year. We also hold community based clinics to make sure we vaccinate as many children as possible.
Flu – what is it?
Flu can be a very unpleasant illness in children, with serious complications such as bronchitis and pneumonia. Annual immunisation give important protection to your child and helps reduce the spread of flu to their friends, families and the wider community, protecting younger siblings, grandparents and others who are at increased risk of becoming seriously ill from flu.
The flu vaccine currently used in schools is called Fluenz Tetra and is given by a quick and simple spray up the nose, it is painless and there are no needles involved.
Fluenz Tetra may not be suitable for all children who are eligible for the flu vaccine. For children who can’t have Fluenz Tetra they will be invited to have an injectable inactivated influenza vaccine at their GP Practice.
Who should not have this vaccine?
Fluenz Tetra should not be given to your child or adolescent if they:
- are under 24 months or 18 years or older have had a confirmed anaphylactic reaction to a previous dose of flu vaccine or any component of the vaccine
- are clinically severely immunodeficient due to conditions or immunosuppressive (a suppressed or deficient immune system which leaves a patient prone to infection)
- are currently taking or has been prescribed oral steroids in the last 14 days for respiratory disease
- are receiving salicylate therapy (aspirin)
- are pregnant.
How does my child get this vaccination?
Offering vaccination through schools is the most effective way to vaccinate school-aged children. If you miss your child’s flu vaccination at school then please call us on 0300 323 0032 to book into one of our community clinics. These clinics run throughout flu season in a number of locations cross Somerset.
On the day
Our teams will visit your child’s school and school staff will help us to identify children correctly. If your child is absent or unwell on the day of the session please call us on 0300 323 0032 and we can offer you an appointment at one of our community catch up clinics.
Please follow our link below, we hope this will help to demonstrate how school based flu sessions will run this term during these uncertain times.
Worried or concerned?
If you have any concerns about this vaccination, or you are worried because your child has a health condition or disability, please call us with your questions on 0300 323 0032 and we can arrange for you to speak to one of your local friendly immunisation nurses.
Although vaccinated children are known to “shed” a virus a few days after vaccination, it is less able to spread from person to person than the actual infection.
Flu vaccine info for Muslim and Jewish communities
If you are a member of the Muslim or Jewish religious communities you may be concerned about using vaccines that contain gelatine from pigs (porcine gelatine).
Rabbi Abraham Adler from the Kashrus and Medicines Information Service offers some advice that might be helpful to our Jewish communities:
“It should be noted that according to Jewish laws, there is no problem with porcine or other animal derived ingredients in non-oral products. This includes vaccines, including those administered via the nose, injections, suppositories, creams and ointments”.
If you are a member of the Muslim community you may consider the porcine product to be forbidden. The final decision about your children’s vaccination is yours. If you would like to discuss the evidence about the advantages and disadvantages of the vaccination we are happy to discuss this further. You may wish to seek advice from your faith leaders or other community leaders.
Unfortunately, current Government health policy is that only those who are in clinical risk groups and have clinical contra-indications to the vaccine are able to receive an inactivated injectable vaccine as an alternative.
For more information about the flu vaccination for children: