A local school is backing a campaign which was recently launched in Dudley to encourage more children to have their flu nasal spray.
Church of the Ascension Primary School in Wall Heath is supporting the campaign by handing out a colourful storybook, titled Flu Fighters Versus Chilly, Achy and Snotty. The illustrated book will be given to all primary school children across Dudley this winter, following its successful distribution in Wolverhampton schools last year.
Children from Church of the Ascension Primary School with their Flu Fighters storybooks
It tells the story of three slimy alien invaders from the planet Bogey who come to Earth to “spread disease and make children cough, splutter and sneeze.” Their dastardly plans are thwarted by a watchful nurse who protects young heroes by giving them the nasal spray and turning them into Flu Fighters.
The campaign was delivered to thousands of pupils through Wolverhampton schools last winter. It resulted in an increase in pupils in all age groups receiving the vaccine, ranging from 7.8 percent to 10 percent compared to previous years.
For the first time, this year, all primary aged children in England, from reception to year six, are eligible for the free vaccination, delivered via a quick and painless nasal spray.
Flu vaccinations in schools started last week and will continue through to December. Nurses from Vaccination UK will visit every primary school in the region, including pupils at all special schools. Parents are being urged to return vaccination consent forms as soon as possible to ensure their child doesn’t miss out.
In Dudley this year, along with information about the vaccine and consent forms, free copies of the Flu Fighters book are being given out to all primary-aged children.
Councillor Nicolas Barlow, cabinet member for health and adult social care at Dudley Council, said:
I’m really pleased that the NHS is offering free flu vaccinations for all the children in our borough. The council is supporting uptake by running the Flu Fighters campaign.
It is really important for all children to have the vaccination. Not only does it save them from having a nasty illness, but children are known as ‘super spreaders’ of all viruses, and this will help to protect everyone else in the family, including older or more vulnerable members.
I would urge all parents to return their consent forms as soon as possible so their children can get the harmless, painless vaccination and protect themselves and their families against the flu.
Steve Hudson, head teacher at Church of the Ascension Primary School, said:
The health of our all children is really important to us in school and this is why we’re getting behind the Flu Fighters campaign.
With lots of children in one place, it’s really easy for germs to spread in school so we’re pleased so many of our parents have already agreed for their children to receive their free flu spray when nurses come into school in November.
The vaccine is also available to children aged two and three, and children aged 11 and over with some long-term health conditions, through local GPs.
Dr Salma Reehana, Chair of Wolverhampton NHS Clinical Commissioning Group, said:
With the flu season approaching, it is important that anyone who is deemed to be at risk takes this opportunity and gets their free vaccination as soon as possible.
Vaccinations in schools are now well underway and are scheduled to continue for the next couple of months. All children from Reception to Year 6 at infant, junior and primary schools in the Black Country and West Birmingham, and all children in special schools, are offered the nasal spray flu vaccination at their school. The vaccine is also available to children aged two and three, and children aged 11 and over with some long-term health conditions, through local GPs.
Flu can be particularly horrible for small children who can develop a very high fever or complications such as bronchitis or pneumonia. The vaccine can help protect your child and reduce the chance of flu spreading to friends and family, and the good news for children is that it is administered via a nasal spray.
I would urge parents to please return their consent forms as soon as they receive them – if they haven't already – so that their children don't miss out on their free vaccine and are able to become Flu Fighters.
As well as the vaccination for children, people with long-term health conditions, the over 65s, carers and care staff, people in long-stay residential care homes and pregnant women are also eligible for a free vaccination through their GP or pharmacist, while everyone else can get the vaccine from many local pharmacies for a small charge.
To find out more about the free nasal spray, and to read and download Flu Fighters Versus Chilly, Achy and Snotty, please visit https://lets-get.com/flu-fighters-dudley/