Flu vaccines to be rolled out to up to 7,000 Doncaster schoolchildren

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Nearly 7,000 Doncaster schoolchildren are going to be offered a flu vaccination in a bid to cut sickness this winter.

School nurses who work for Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH) are currently sending out letters to parents of Year 7 and Year 8 pupils asking for permission.

The youngsters will then be vaccinated using a nasal spray. The initiative is part of a pilot project being run in the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw area.

Benefits of the immunisation are that the child is protected against flu, which in turn protects vulnerable family members and people in the community. It should also mean a reduction in flu at school and less sickness among children and staff.

Sarah Thompson, the Specialist Community Public Health Nurse leading the immunisation programme in Doncaster, said: “Usually only young people who have an illness, such as asthma, are offered the immunisation. This year it’s being offered to healthy teenagers in a bid to reduce the spread of flu.”

The project will then be evaluated by Public Health England and University College London.

For more information about the flu project visit either the RDaSH website at http://aq.be/baf83c or NHS Choices at http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/flu/pages/introduction.aspx