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20 November 2017

Ramsgate’s youngest lead the way in fight against flu

More than 300 children at a primary school in Ramsgate stepped up to have their nasal spray flu vaccine as part of a county-wide flu immunisation programme.

Newington Community Primary is one of hundreds of schools immunisation teams from Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust are travelling to across Kent to make sure children in reception class and years 1, 2, 3 and 4 have their flu vaccine this winter.

Lead Immunisation Nurse for Canterbury and Thanet Claire Collard said: “The number of parents signing their children up for the flu vaccine has really increased this year – which is great news.

“We want to thank the schools which have been brilliant at supporting us to come in and look after their children by vaccinating them against flu.

“The vaccine is a safe, pain-free nasal spray, so no scary needles, and the best way to protect your children against this nasty virus this winter.”

Family Liaison Officer at Newington Community Primary Alison Coe said: “We really value the wellbeing of our children and community and it’s important we keep our pupils healthy, happy and in school. Working with the Immunisation Team has been great and they have made this such an easy and pleasant experience – for us and the children.”

The flu programme for primary school-aged children, funded by NHS England, has been running in primary schools since September and will be completed by Christmas.

Michael Baker, PHE South East Deputy Director for Healthcare Public Health, said: “Flu can be much more dangerous for children than many parents realise and when children get flu they tend to spread it around the whole family.

“The child vaccination programme is really beneficial in reducing the spread of flu to other more vulnerable family members for whom flu can be very serious.”

Karen Kessack, KCHFT’s Head of School-Age Immunisation Service, said; “We have a national target to vaccinate between 40 and 65 per cent of all primary-school aged children between four and 8-years-old in Kent. We know if we hit this target we are protecting children from this nasty virus and preventing the spread of flu to our wider communities.

“We have successfully vaccinated thousands of children already, but if we haven’t visited your child’s school yet we would urge you to complete the consent form and send it in. If you have any concerns or questions you can phone our team on 0300 123 5205.”

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