Flu vaccines to be offered to all primary school pupils

Flu vaccine administered Nearly all children will receive the vaccine through a nasal spray

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Children, aged two and over, and all primary school children will be offered the flu vaccination from Thursday.

The move is the second phase of the Public Health Agency's (PHA) childhood flu immunisation programme.

The programme started in 2013 and saw all children aged between two and three - and all children in primary six - offered the vaccine.

Nearly all children will receive the vaccine through a nasal spray.

Dr Richard Smithson, consultant in health protection at the Public Health Agency (PHA) said: "Last year the vaccine was offered to primary six children and over 80% of them were vaccinated, by far the highest uptake in the UK.

'Serious infection'

"If we can achieve a similar uptake this year with all primary school children being offered the vaccine, then this should have a significant impact on the amount of flu that we see. We also hope that once again parents of pre-schoolers over two get them vaccinated at their GP's surgery."

The PHA said all at-risk children should continue to receive the flu vaccine as they have done in previous years.

School children will receive letters and consent forms over the next couple of months.

The extended flu vaccination programme is being phased in over several years and will eventually cover all children aged between two and 16 years.

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