Parents urged to consent to flu nasal sprays for children as immunisations get underway in Kent and Medway
Almost 200,000 children in the county should be getting a flu vaccination this year, say health chiefs.
But there are concerns some may miss out when parents and carers forget to complete the online form and don't give permission ahead of the session.
Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust (KCHFT) is commissioned by Public Health England to administer the vaccines, which this year are being offered to all school children from reception to Year 7.
Laura Jones, Clinical Immunisation Manager at KCHFT, said: “We have got a huge job on our hands this year with 190,000 children in Kent and Medway aged four to 12-years-old needing a flu vaccination between October and December.
“We’re encouraging all parents to make sure they consent to their child’s flu vaccination well in advance of their school session this year. Flu is an absolutely horrible illness and children can of course pass it on to parents and grandparents. This winter, the last thing we need is a flu outbreak in our communities, so we’re asking all parents to act responsibly and consent to the flu vaccine for their child."
In a move to reassure parents the trust is also reminding families that the vaccine, as a nasal spray, is completely painless and that it comes in a very weak state meaning that it doesn't have the strength to give anyone the flu.
Laura Jones added: “Schools send emails to all parents/carers in advance of the session and the majority will consent straight away – however, there is always a small percentage of parents who don’t give consent.
"If anyone needs support to complete the electronic consent form, we are very happy to help. Just call us on 0300 123 5205.’
More information about this year’s flu vaccine programme is available at www.kentcht.nhs.uk/service/immunisation-team/school-age-flu