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30 November 2020

Parents urged to give consent for flu vaccine as winter looms

Almost 200,000 children in Kent and Medway should be getting a flu vaccination this year, but some may be missing out as parents or carers have not given consent in time for 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 children from reception to Year 7.

Laura Jones, Clinical Immunisation Manager at KCHFT, explained: “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.

“The vaccine is completely painless as it’s given as a nasal spray. Some people believe that as it is a live vaccine it can pass the virus on to others, however the virus in the nasal vaccine is in a very weak state and cannot give anyone the flu. It will protect your child and will make sure they don’t pass it on to other family members who may be vulnerable.

“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.’

For more information about this year’s flu vaccine programme please visit:

www.kentcht.nhs.uk/service/immunisation-team/school-age-flu