NHS Tayside is encouraging parents of pre-school children and those in ‘at risk’ groups to take up the offer of free flu vaccination for their child.
As part of the national Vaccination Transformation Programme, a three-year programme which will see responsibility for the delivery of immunisations move from GPs to NHS Boards, there will be a change to how parents in Tayside arrange for their child to be vaccinated.
From 2019 all children’s flu vaccinations will be administered by NHS Tayside’s children’s immunisation team. This includes pre-school children aged 2-5 years, ‘at risk’ children aged six months to 18 years, primary school children, and catch-up of children who have missed flu vaccination at school.
Letters are being sent directly to parents of children aged 2-5 years and children in ‘at risk’ groups aged six months to two years and 12-18 years in ‘at risk’ groups inviting them to book an appointment with NHS Tayside’s children’s immunisation team.
Vaccination will be delivered by children’s immunisation nurses in community clinics, which may or may not be in their own GP surgeries, and GPs will no longer offer opportunistic vaccinations if the child is attending for another reason.
To arrange an appointment for their child, parents should contact the immunisation team on 01307 475240.
Children from 5-12 years will be offered their flu vaccination in school as usual and consent forms have been sent home in schoolbags. It’s important that parents check for the immunisation information packs, complete the consent form and return it to the school.
Consultant in Public Health Medicine Dr Daniel Chandler said, “I would encourage all parents to take up the offer of free flu vaccination for their child. The flu vaccine is quick, safe and effective. It provides the best protection available against an unpredictable virus that can cause severe illness, much worse than just a bad cold.
“Flu can be spread easily by coughs and sneezes, or by touching surfaces where it has landed and then touching your eyes, nose and mouth. The vaccine helps protect your child against flu, and reduces the chance of them spreading it to friends and other family members who may be at greater risk. Make sure you contact the immunisation team and arrange an appointment to avoid missing out.”