The flu vaccine is offered to all primary and secondary school pupils in Scotland. It is normally given at school between September and December.
A briefing document and other classroom resources are available to help teachers prepare pupils for their vaccination at school this year.
NHS Scotland recommends that children and young people get the flu vaccine this year.
This is for three reasons:
- flu can be serious, even for healthy children
- the flu vaccine helps prevent children getting sick with flu and needing time off school
- the flu vaccine is an easy, painless and safe way to help protect children this winter
Consent guidance and parental consent
Boxes of consent packs will be delivered to each school. These should be distributed to parents and carers. Parents or carers should sign and return the consent form to school even if their child is not going to have the vaccine.
If parents or carers of children raise any concerns about the immunisation programme, you should signpost them to
• NHS inform flu vaccine information for primary and secondary school children (external website)
• their local NHS health board – the phone number is on their invitation letter.
Preparing for flu immunisations in schools
Once consent packs are delivered to schools, it's important that these are distributed to reach parents and carers as soon as possible. The consent packs are pre-printed and will be provided to you ready to distribute.
Before giving out packs, make teachers and staff aware that forms are personalised for each child. Blank consent packs are provided and can be used if a personalised form for a pupil is missing.
Parents and carers need to return completed consent forms to schools as soon as possible.
All teachers and staff must know where to return the parental consent forms. The consent forms should be returned in their envelopes.
Your local NHS health board will arrange a date with you to collect returned parental consent forms.
If possible, please use school methods to remind parents and pupils to return completed consent forms.
Communication methods can include:
- social media such as Twitter or Facebook
- website content
We have produced digital resources for the flu vaccination programme. Social media assets, and an email template, can be downloaded for use by your school.
School staff may wish to use digital resources in class or on social media. We have produced a classroom activity sheet and a short animation for this purpose.
School staff immunisations
This year flu vaccination will also be offered to:
- primary and secondary school teachers
- nursery teachers
- pupil-facing support staff
This is available to school and nursery staff who work in a local authority or independent setting.
The school staff vaccination is likely to be giving in community clinics.