What vaccine is being offered and why? 

The Fluenz Tetra nasal spray is the vaccine currently used, it offers protection against four strains of the Influenza virus which are anticipated to be circulating in the UK this winter. These strains may be different from previous years. Therefore, the World Health Organisation recommends annual vaccination. 

Does the nasal vaccine contain gelatine derived from pigs (porcine gelatine)? 

The vaccine does contain a highly processed form of porcine gelatine, to keep it stable and effective. However, the World Health Organisation and Islamic Organisation for Medical Sciences, advised gelatine derived from impure animals has been sufficiently transformed to make it permissible, for use in medicines, including vaccinations. 

If you or your child find the porcine gelatine element of the vaccine unacceptable, your child may be able to receive an alternative vaccine via an injection. Please call your local immunisation team to book a clinic appointment. 

Are there any side effects of the vaccine? 

Children may develop a runny or blocked nose, headache, tiredness, and reduced appetite, lasting a few days. The vaccine is absorbed quickly so, even if your child sneezes immediately after having had it, there's no need to worry that it hasn't worked. Any other side effects are unusual. If you're worried about any reaction, you can call the NHS 111 service. 

Your child should not have the nasal spray vaccine if they:

  • are currently wheezy or have been wheezy in the past three days (vaccination should be delayed until at least three days after the wheezing has stopped)
  • are severely asthmatic who have previously required intensive care or are currently (or within the last 14 days) being treated with oral steroids
  • have a condition that severely weakens their immune system, for example following a bone marrow transplant
  • have someone in their household severely immunocompromised who needs isolation
  • have had severe anaphylaxis to egg allergy requiring intensive care treatment
  • have had severe anaphylaxis to any other components of the vaccine
  • are receiving Salicylate therapies (other than topical treatment for localized conditions)

If any of the above applies to your child, please contact your local Immunisation Team to discuss vaccination alternatives. 

Children who have been vaccinated with the nasal spray should avoid household contact with people who have a severely weakened immune system, for 2 weeks following vaccination (e.g., those who are receiving chemotherapy). 

Shedding. What do I need to know? 

The virus in the vaccine is live, but it has been weakened so that it cannot cause the illness in healthy people. The amount of virus shed after vaccination is normally below the levels needed to pass on the infection to others and it does not survive for long outside of the body. Unvaccinated children are not at risk of catching flu from the vaccine, either through being in the same room where flu vaccine has been given, or by being in individual contact with recently vaccinated children. This contrasts with the natural flu infection, which spreads easily during the flu season. 

What if my child only has the vaccine in one nostril? 

A spray in each nostril is to maximize contact with the cells in the nose. A single spray will induce a sufficient immune response to protect your child. 

What do I do if I cannot complete the online consent form? 

Contact your local team in the Immunisation Service on the number provided, and complete a verbal consent with them, before the closing date and time. 

What do I do if I missed the cut off date and the form is closed? 

Your child's school are requested to send reminders out to parents prior to the cut-off date. One working day after the school session visit, you will be able to a complete consent form and book into a catch-up clinic online. Instructions on how to book an appointment will be emailed to you upon submission of a positive consent form. If you are unable to use the online booking system, please contact your local team on the number provided. 

What do I do if I do not want my child to have this vaccination? 

To indicate that you do not give consent for this vaccination, please complete the online consent form following the steps in the parent letter and answer ‘NO' to the consent question. 

In this circumstance, your child will not be offered the vaccination in school. However, if your child is in secondary school and they approach us requesting the vaccination where you have indicated you do not consent, we will endeavour to have a conversation with you to discuss their options. Legally children under the age of 16 can consent to their own treatment if they demonstrate the competence and understanding to fully appreciate what's involved in their treatment, but we would not want to act against your wishes. 

What do I do if I have changed my mind after completing an online consent form? 

You must phone the Immunisation Service to change your consent in addition to informing your child's school, in writing, prior to the vaccination session date. 

What does giving consent for SCFT staff to view my child's Digital Health Record mean? 

It enables any SCFT Children's Services staff, who provide care for your child, to see information which has been shared out from the GP and other health organisations records, if they use compatible systems. We cannot view other organisations records without consent, except in exceptional circumstances. Access to your child's health record helps our services to make safe clinical decisions on the most appropriate treatment and care. For further information visit our 'Patient information and how we use it' page. 

How will I know when my child has been vaccinated? 

You will receive an email, usually within 24 hours, sent to the address you provide when completing the online form, advising you of the vaccination outcome. If your child was not vaccinated, following submission of a positive consent form, your email will advise of the reason for this and contain details of how to book into a clinic. 


 Information on the flu vaccination programme for parents of primary school children: 

 Information on the flu vaccination programme for parents of secondary school children: 

Please complete the online Flu Vaccination Consent Form (susseximmunisations.co.uk) for your child, you will need their unique school code. If you don't have this, please ask your school. You can also use the same link to indicate your choice if you do not wish your child to be vaccinated. 

To access more information about this resource and the service related to it, you can review the related resources below.

Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Polio and Meningitis vaccinations – frequently asked questions
Frequently Asked Questions on Td/IPV and MenACWY vaccinations
Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccinations - frequently asked questions
Frequently asked questions on Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccinations.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccinations - frequently asked questions
Frequently asked questions about Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccinations.

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