Schools

Free flu vaccine offered to all secondary school pupils

Pupils will be offered a nasal spray through school's vaccination programme during the autumn term

Pupils will be offered a nasal spray through school's vaccination programme during the autumn term

All secondary school pupils will be eligible for a free flu vaccine from September.

Primary school pupils and children in year 7 to 9 were eligible last year, but government has confirmed today it will be extend availability to all age groups in 2023-24.

It was previously offered to all year groups in 2021-22, during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Pupils will be offered the vaccine as a nasal spray through the schools vaccination programme during the autumn term.

Government said the decision is in line with a long-standing recommendation from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

Schools minister Nick Gibb said it’s important children “are able to attend school as much as possible”.

“We know that school attendance levels drop over the winter months due to illness, which is why today’s announcement will not only protect children’s health but also their education.”

Consent letters will be sent to parents and guardians before vaccines are administered.

For those not attending school, such as home schooled children, parents and young people can book their vaccine with their GP or a community clinic.

Vaccine eligibility is a ministerial decision that can change every year.

Health minister Maria Caulfield said the vaccines will “reduce the risk of transmission to more vulnerable groups”.

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  1. Partner of a teacher

    So to help reduce non contact days surely that means not only all primary children, all secondary children and those in 16-19 education should also be offered this. On top of that surely their teachers should be to as one teacher off sick teaching 5 classes of 30 students could affect more than 150 students per day in terms of educational support? Not to mention costs to the school/college in terms of cover costs?