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School’s flu vaccination program begins soon

THE Western Trust are gearing up to roll out this year’s flu vaccination Programme for local school children.

There are many vaccine preventable infectious diseases that can make children seriously unwell, or may be life-threatening in childhood; such as measles or meningococcal infection.

In Northern Ireland, the Public Health Agency (PHA’s) routine childhood vaccination programme covers sixteen important infectious diseases. As high rates of uptake of a vaccine are essential to stopping the spread of one of these infectious diseases, we need to ensure children attend appointments for vaccines, if they are offered. The Trust says if they stopped vaccinating, these diseases would start coming back into our communities, and we could see outbreaks of diseases that can be fatal to children.

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Irene McSorley, Team Leader for School Nursing at the Western Trust explains, “Our School Nursing Team will be rolling out this year’s flu vaccination programme to primary school children (Year 1 to 7) and post primary school children (Year 8 to 12) across the Western Trust area over the coming months.

“This is the best protection against Influenza. It is vitally important that parents and guardians protect their children from other potential risks during the COVID-19 pandemic, including influenza by completing and returning their child(rens) consent form(s) to their school as soon as possible.

“The flu vaccination won’t protect against COVID-19 but it is critical to protecting the general health of the population, particularly those at high risk from COVID-19. The School Nursing Team will be taking all the necessary Infection control measures including the wearing of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), to ensure the safety of pupils and staff.”

Irene continued, “We know that vaccinations save lives and helps protect the most vulnerable people in our schools and local communities. We very much appreciate everyone’s support, especially this year as we face the ongoing challenges of Winter and the continued risks posed by this global pandemic.  We all must play our part to get through this together.

“Thank you for supporting your health care staff and health service during this very difficult time.”

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