Immunisation helps protect against serious diseases including influenza, measles, mumps, meningitis, polio and whooping cough. Once we have been immunised, our bodies are better able to fight these diseases if we come into contact with them.
Before vaccines were available, many children in the UK died from diseases such as whooping cough, measles and polio. Widespread immunisation programmes can contain and even eliminate diseases, making immunisation a major health success over the last 100 years.
Children’s Flu Vaccations
The children’s flu vaccine is safe and effective. It’s offered every year as a nasal spray to children to help protect them against flu. Flu can be a very unpleasant illness for children. It can also lead to serious problems, such as bronchitis and pneumonia.
Flu is caused by a virus and children spread flu easily. Vaccinating them also protects others who are vulnerable to flu, such as babies and older people.
For full details of our children’s flu vaccination programme, including frequently asked questions, please visit ghc.nhs.uk/childrensflu
The HPV Vaccine
All girls and boys aged 12 and 13 are offered HPV (human papilloma virus) vaccination as part of the NHS childhood vaccination programme. The vaccine protects against HPV-related cancers in boys and girls, such as head and neck cancers, anal and gential cancers.
According to Cancer Research UK, cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women under the age of 35. In the UK, 2900 women a year are diagnosed with cervical cancer, that’s around eight women every day.
Around 970 women died from cervical cancer in 2011 in the UK. It’s estimated that about 400 lives could be saved every year in the UK as a result of vaccinating girls before they are infected with HPV.
Health officials say the HPV vaccine for 12 to 13-year-old boys will prevent 29000 cancers in men in the next 40 years.
The HPV vaccine consists of two injections in the upper arm spaced at least six and not more than 24 months apart. We currently use Gardasil which protects against four strains of the virus. The vaccine is supplied by the Department of Health.
How does my child get this vaccination?
When your child reaches eligible age, you will be sent a HPV pack via their school, or in the post from your local education authority if your child is home educated. The pack will include a letter, information leaflet and consent form. If you have any questions, please do contact us on 0300 421 8140.
On the day
Our teams will visit your child’s school and will be assisted by school staff to identify children correctly. If your child is absent or unwell on the day of the session, please call us on 0300 421 8140 and we can offer an appointment at one of our catch-up clinics.
If you have any concerns about this vaccination, for example if your child has additional needs, a health condition or a disability and you have questions, please do contact us on 0300 421 8140 and we can arrange for you to speak to one of your friendly local immunisation nurses.
Children with special educational needs or disabilities
We understand that children with special educational needs or disabilities may find vaccination sessions particularly stressful. Our immunisation nurses are very experienced at supporting children and young people who have additional needs and may be anxious about vaccinations.
We would like to offer all children the opportunity to receive their vaccinations in an appropriate and comfortable environment. With this in mind, we can offer the following options:
- We vaccinate at your child’s school. You may wish to be with them, but this is not a requirement.
- We hold clinics in the school holidays at various locations across Gloucestershire from fire stations to hospitals. You can book a location and time of your choice.
- In exceptional circumstance, we may be able to offer home visits.