What to do if your child misses their school flu spray in Kent because of school or bubble closures

by Lauren Abbott

Children who miss their school flu immunisation because of coronavirus will be offered it at a later date, health chiefs have confirmed.

With a growing number of schools in Kent and Medway closed because of virus outbreaks or class and year group bubbles isolating at home, many children have missed the immunisation team's visit to their school - a situation described as 'challenging' by those tasked with rolling out the programme.

Immunisation teams say school and bubble closures are making the situation 'challenging'
Immunisation teams say school and bubble closures are making the situation 'challenging'

Almost 200,000 pupils in Kent and Medway aged four to 12 are entitled to a flu immunisation this year with the Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust overseeing the distribution of nasal sprays to children in reception through to Year 7.

Just last week health teams were urging parents in the county to make sure that consent forms had been completed in good time to enable all pupils who wanted a flu spray to have one.

But alongside making first-time visits to all schools, immunisation teams say they are working hard to also now catch pupils who missed their initial appointment because of a site or bubble closure prompted by a Covid-19 outbreak.

Outbreaks in schools are forcing site and bubble closures meaning that children are missing their immunisation
Outbreaks in schools are forcing site and bubble closures meaning that children are missing their immunisation

Laura Jones, Clinical Lead said “We are working hard to try to catch-up school and bubble closures. Our aim is to make sure that all children are vaccinated against flu before the end of term but the increasing closure of schools and bubbles and children self-isolating as we near the end of term makes this challenging."

Options for parents may include waiting for a rearranged immunisation date through their child's school or making an appointment at a community catch up clinic, which are running at sites across Kent and Medway.

Laura Jones added: "We are communicating with our commissioners at Public Health England as to the best way to approach this and parent and carers will be contacted by their child's school as soon as we are able to reschedule the school flu vaccination session. We are also running community catch-up clinics regularly after school and on Saturdays.”

For information about immunisations in the county and to complete your child's flu consent form, click here.

Read more family-related news from across Kent and Medway at www.mykentfamily.co.uk

For more education-related news click here.

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