Major childhood flu vaccination programme

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Friday, September 19th, 2014
The Public Health Agency (PHA) has launched phase two of its childhood flu vaccination programme which will see immunisation being offered to pre-school children aged two years and over, and all primary school children. This will help protect against the disease and reduce spread. In the Southern Trust, nursing staff will deliver the flu vaccine to P1-P7 pupils in 210 schools. Julie McConville, Head of Health Visiting and School Nursing at the Trust, explained, “We’re building on the success of last year’s vaccination programme which was offered to all P6 pupils. “The flu vaccination programme was well received by children, parents and schools. Our school nursing teams will be visiting primary schools from the end of September onwards and will be working in partnership with parents and teaching staff to provide this painless nasal spray vaccine.” Dr Richard Smithson, Consultant in Health Protection at the PHA, said: “Never before has a routine vaccination programme endeavoured to annually vaccinate so many children within such a short space of time. “Last year the vaccine was offered to primary six children and over 80% of children were vaccinated, by far the highest uptake in the UK. This was an excellent achievement, demonstrating the skill and commitment of school nursing teams and the commitment of parents to ensuring their children are better protected against this unpleasant and potentially serious infection. “If we can achieve a similar uptake this year then this should have a significant impact on the amount of flu that we see,” he added. For more information about the flu vaccine for 2013/14, visit, or speak to your GP/nurse or member of staff in the Trust’s school nurse team.
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