New flu vaccine treatment proving a success

A stethoscope.
A stethoscope.

A pilot treatment of school pupils across the Isle and North Lincolnshire to stop the spread of flu has been seen as successful.

A pilot of the nasal flu spray in North Lincolnshire saw 70 per cent of year seven and eight pupils receive the vaccine.

Between last October and December the school nursing team from Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust visited 14 secondary schools immunising a total of 2193 students.

They were one of 13 teams across the country taking part in a pilot of the vaccine and achieved the highest rate of immunisation out of six teams within the North Yorkshire and Humber area.

The team consists of 12 nurses and five healthcare assistants.

School nurse Antonia Morwood said: “Children tend to be good at spreading flu, because they sneeze everywhere and don’t use tissues properly or wash their hands. It’s important we vaccinate them as it may also protect others that are vulnerable to flu such as babies, older people, pregnant women and people with serious long-term illnesses.

“The big advantage of the nasal spray vaccine is that it is needle free. It is a quick and painless way of administrating the vaccine and less daunting for children. There are also very few side effects, the main one being a runny nose.”

Kim Walton, operational matron for children’s services, said: “We’re really pleased with how the pilot has worked. It’s been a big task to immunise so many children and our school nurses have worked hard to achieve a 70 per cent uptake rate. They’ve worked in partnership with local schools and our child health team to ensure parents were given all the information they needed to decide whether to give consent for their child to have the vaccine.”

The pilot took place to help determine the best approach to implementing the programme, which will eventually see all children from the age of two to 17 offered the vaccine.