Lincolnshire's school nurses stress the importance of flu vaccinations

School nurses working across Lincolnshire are encouraging parents to understand the importance of having children vaccinated against flu. 

School nurse teams from Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS) are delivering the nasal spray vaccine to children in years one, two and three (five to seven year olds) as part of the annual flu campaign. 

Sarah Packwood, Immunisation Programme Lead at LCHS, said: "Flu can be very unpleasant and the nasal spray vaccine will not only help protect your child from the disease, but also help to prevent it from spreading to others. This includes the more vulnerable members of our families, such as babies, pregnant women, the elderly and those managing other serious long-term health conditions, for whom flu can be fatal.

"Poor hand hygiene and not always using tissues properly mean children can be good at spreading flu. Supporting the childhood flu vaccination programme is a great opportunity to protect families during the winter months." 

The nasal spray is painless and absorbed very quickly. It will still work even if a child has a runny nose, sneezes or blows their nose straight after being vaccinated. 

Flu symptoms can include fever, aching muscles and joints, extreme tiredness, a stuffy nose, dry cough and sore throat, which can often last for seven days. Some children may have more serious complications. 

Letters and consent forms for the vaccinations are being circulated to parents through schools. The flu vaccination programme is already under way in Lincolnshire and will run until mid-December.

Details of when the school nurses are visiting schools across the county are published on the Lincolnshire Health Families website: www.lincolnshirehealthfamilies.nhs.uk/schoolnursing

Children in school years one, two and three and all children and staff in special schools are being offered the vaccine as part of the national programme to extend flu vaccination to all children. 

For children who do not attend school, the vaccination can be given at a local health centre.