Local children Sofi, Fatima, and Hafsa have emerged as the victors in this year’s flu fighter story and art competition, organised by the Bradford District and Craven Health and Care Partnership. The competition aimed to heighten awareness of the flu virus among children.

With nearly 40 artistic submissions from children aged 6 to 11, judges singled out three winners. All entries were assessed anonymously by at least two judges.

Children were encouraged to unleash their creativity, with the only requirement being that their drawing or story revolved around combating the flu.

‘‘Sami the Syringe”, crafted by 8-year-old Fatima, clinched first place. The illustration portrayed a lively character poised to take on the flu bugs this winter.

‘Fluella’, created by 7-year-old Sofi, secured second place. It featured a vibrant superhero safeguarding people by dispelling flu vaccines from her enchanted cape and enveloping individuals to keep them well.

‘Mr Flu Fighter’, drawn by 10-year-old Hafsa, claimed third place, skillfully spreading the word about available vaccines, how to stay safe, and prevent the flu from spreading.

The competition served as an imaginative means to raise awareness about the flu virus and the significance of vaccination for children and their families. In tandem with the competition, the School Immunisation Team held flu vaccination clinics over the half-term break and conducted sessions at schools to guide parents on the flu vaccine and how to provide consent for their child to receive it.

Yvonne Osborn, School Vaccination and Immunisation Lead at Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust on behalf of Bradford District and Craven Health and Care Partnership, said: “Huge congratulations to the winners of the flu fighter competition! We were blown over by the creativity of children in Bradford District and Craven and it was fantastic to see how many 6-11 year olds understood how to stop the spread of flu.

“Flu can be really nasty and it is not like having a cold, it can have serious complications. Your child can feel very unwell for days resulting in missed school and you needing to time off to look after your child.

“Children can catch and spread flu easily. There is the option to take up the flu vaccination for your child, which protects them and other vulnerable family members, such as babies and older people. If your child is reception to year 11 age, they are eligible for a free flu vaccine. If you have not already consented your child to have the flu vaccine, please contact the school immunisation team on 01274 221269.”

The School Immunisation Team offers the nasal flu spray. If this is unsuitable due to objections to the use of porcine gelatine in medical products, an injectable flu vaccine without gelatine is available.

Sarah Muckle, Director of Public Health for the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council, commented, “As winter approaches each year, incidents of flu become more prevalent. Frequently, it is school-aged children who transmit flu to their families. The most effective shield against flu and other seasonal illnesses is immunisation, so it’s excellent that our partners at the NHS are heightening awareness of the vaccine through this enjoyable and imaginative campaign.”