A new immunisation programme to protect Borders children against flu will be phased in from this autumn.
Under the scheme, from October 1 this year, over 2400 Borders children aged two and three will be offered immunisation against flu by their general practice, while over 2000 children in a selection of Borders primary schools will take part in a pilot vaccination programme run by school nurses. All parents/carers of children to be vaccinated this year will be sent a letter with details of the vaccination programme.
The programme will be rolled out over the next two years, with children at all primary schools and selected secondary schools being offered immunisation from 2014, and all Borders children aged two to 17 being offered the flu vaccine from the end of 2015.
Commenting on the extension of the flu vaccination programme, Dr Tim Patterson Consultant in Public Health, NHS Borders said: “Flu is a serious illness and the extension of the flu vaccination programme will protect those children who receive the vaccine each year, and will help to protect against the spread of flu. We are working with GPs and school staff to introduce this new programme.
“The vaccine offers excellent protection against those types of flu virus that are most likely to be circulating each winter, protecting your child from a nasty illness that could end up with them having treatment in hospital.
“The immunisation is safe, quick and painless and has been used in a number of other countries, including the US, for many years.”