Needles scrapped as nasal flu vaccination introduced

Pearl Greenwood, Immunisation Team Leader at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust

Pearl Greenwood, Immunisation Team Leader at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust

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SCHOOL children in Lancashire will get their flu vaccine in the form of a nasal spray this winter.

The immunisation team at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust has been selected as one of seven teams across England to pilot the new flu immunisation to year seven and year eight pupils - meaning there’s no need for an injection.

Schools in Central, East and West Lancashire will be part of the programme led by Public Health England and NHS England.

The new vaccine will be painless to receive and will also be absorbed quickly into the body.

This is the first year children in years seven and eight will be offered the flu vaccine, which has developed from last year’s programme when children aged four to 10 were vaccinated in pilot areas. Pearl Greenwood, immunisation team leader at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust said: “The pilot scheme makes use of innovative advances in the delivery of the flu vaccine by using a nasal spray rather than an injection. As some children have a fear of injections, being able to provide the vaccine without the use of a needle will enable us to protect children from flu and avoid any unnecessary distress to hopefully make the process easier for the child involved.

“Providing the nasal spray vaccine in schools will help us to understand how best to vaccinate a large number of children in a short period of time and help protect them from what can be a very nasty illness.

“This in turn helps protect not only the children, but also their family, friends and local community by reducing the risk of the virus spreading.” Parents and carers will receive consent forms to sign and return.