The NHS and the local council in Bradford District and Craven are encouraging parents and guardians of children aged 5-11 years old to give their consent for their child to receive the flu vaccination, which provides protection against what can be a severe illness.

The NHS provides vaccinations to all schoolchildren in the UK to safeguard them from harmful infectious diseases. The flu vaccine is safe, effective, free, and administered through a quick and straightforward nose spray.

As children return to school, parents will receive a letter from the School Immunisations Team (which covers Bradford, Airedale, Wharfedale, and Craven) providing further information about the flu and the vaccination process. It will also explain how to request the vaccination if they wish for their child to receive it.

The NHS emphasizes that administering the flu spray to children will help prevent the spread of flu and contribute to the safety of friends and family. Older individuals and those with underlying health conditions are most vulnerable if they contract flu from children. The NHS also cautions that flu viruses can mutate, so even if children received the vaccine last year, they will need it again this year.

Yvonne Osborn, School Vaccination and Immunisation Lead at Bradford District Care Trust on behalf of Bradford District and Craven Health and Care Partnership said: “It’s really important that parents complete the electronic consent form to protect their child from infectious diseases like flu. Flu can be really harmful, especially for older family members and those with other illnesses. Giving your child the flu vaccine will stop the spread of flu and keep your friends and family safe.

“The flu vaccine is administered as a quick and easy nose spray. It’s also available as an injectable vaccine that does not contain pork gelatine (otherwise known as porcine gelatine). If you have any questions, you can contact the School Immunisations Team on 01274 221269 who will be happy to help.

“You can let us know if you want your child to have the flu vaccination by filling in one online consent form. You will need the code for your child’s school to complete the form. Even if you do not want your child to be vaccinated, please complete the form to let us know.”

For children aged 5-11 years old who are home-schooled, there are clinics available at Horton Park Health Centre and Undercliffe Health Centre from 3 pm on various days throughout the week. Clinic sessions will also be conducted at Keighley Health Centre, including Saturday clinics. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact the immunisation team on 01274 221269.