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NHS Western Isles is encouraging parents to ensure that the flu vaccine consent forms being distributed through primary and secondary schools are completed and returned on time.
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 shortly be sent home in school bags to parents and carers of primary school children. Consent forms must be returned within seven days.
Secondary school pupils will also receive a consent pack with a letter, leaflet and consent form for their parent/carers. They will also receive a digital leaflet with information, which will be emailed from school, or they can request paper copies at school.
Consent forms must be returned within seven days. Secondary pupils can self-consent, though they are encouraged to speak to a parent or carer first.
NHS Western Isles Director of Public Health Dr Maggie Watts, 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 Western Isles services this winter.
‘It’s more crucial than ever that as many eligible people as possible get vaccinated against flu, so please ensure your child’s completed consent form is returned on time if you wish them to receive the vaccine.
‘If you have any questions or concerns about the vaccine, visit nhsinform.scot or speak to a health or immunisation team, practice nurse or GP.’