Free flu vaccinations in Walsall’s schools are underway and Walsall Council is reminding parents and carers of all children, from Reception to Year 11, to return completed consent forms as soon as possible, to ensure their child doesn't miss out.
The vaccine will be offered to all primary and secondary-aged children in local schools throughout the autumn and into winter and is given via a quick and painless nasal spray.
Children can catch and spread flu easily. Vaccinating them also protects others who are vulnerable to flu, such as babies and older people. With Covid-19 still circulating, it is important to help reduce all avoidable risks. Vaccinating more people will help reduce flu transmission and stop people becoming ill.
Free copies of this year's exciting Flu Fighters storybook, Flu Fighters On A Vacc-tastic Voyage, have been given out to all primary school children and their families as well as a consent form which all parents and carers are being urged to complete and return as soon as possible.
Stephen Gunther, Director of Public Health at Walsall Council, said:
“Flu is a particularly nasty virus which makes some people seriously ill. It can give you a high temperature, headache, muscle ache, cough, sore throat and runny or stuffy nose and make you tired, while children are also more likely to experience sickness and diarrhoea.
“This Winter could bring some difficulties with COVID-19 on top of the usual flu season. It is really important that everyone takes all the necessary steps to keep themselves as well and safe as possible.
“The vaccine is safe and has been given to millions of children around the world. By ensuring your child gets the flu vaccination you will not only be giving them protection but also helping to protect your loved ones and the most vulnerable members of the community.
“As well as having your flu vaccine, the best way to prevent the spread of flu is to practice good hand hygiene and good respiratory etiquette. Catch coughs and sneezes in a tissue, throw the tissue away and wash your hands.”
Sally Roberts, Chief Nurse for the Black Country and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group, said:
"The importance of the flu vaccine in protecting our children from the effects of severe flu cannot be underestimated. It is also very valuable in preventing the spread of harmful germs within the community.
"I would urge all parents to ensure that their children are appropriately protected by consenting for them to have the vaccine, because it is better safe than sorry."
Primary and secondary aged children will be offered the nasal spray through their school. The nasal spray vaccine is also available to children aged two and three and children with some long-term health conditions, through their GP.
Flu vaccination for children easy read leaflet