Teachers and pupil-facing support staff who work within primary and secondary schools are also being offered the free flu vaccine this year.
All children will be sent home with a letter, leaflet and consent form. You should complete the consent form and send it back to school with your child. Your primary school child can only be given the vaccine if you've completed, signed and returned the consent form.
If you have a child in secondary school, talk to them about getting the flu vaccine. It’s a decision you should make together.
It’s not always necessary for secondary school pupils to get consent from their parent or carer to receive their flu vaccine. They may be vaccinated after giving their own consent following discussion with the vaccinator, even if their consent form is not returned.
More information on young people’s right to consent
What if I change my mind?
If you change your mind about consent after returning the consent form, you should contact your local NHS Board. Contact details are on your child’s invitation letter.
To withdraw consent, you must write to your local NHS Board.
To give consent, you'll need to fill in a new consent form.
What if my child’s ill on the day?
Your child should not have the vaccine if:
- they’re very unwell (for example, with a fever, diarrhoea or vomiting)
- their asthma is worse than usual, meaning they are wheezing more or have had to use their inhaler more than they normally do in the 3 days before their vaccination
Otherwise there is no reason to delay getting the vaccine.
What if my child misses their vaccination?
If your child misses their vaccination in school, please contact your local health board to arrange another time. Contact details for your local health board are on your child’s invitation letter.
If you've lost your letter, get in touch with your local health board immunisation service.
How many doses of the flu vaccine are needed?
Almost all children will only need one dose of the vaccine.
Read further information about the child flu vaccine
Will my child be protected for life when they've had this vaccine?
No, your child will need to get the flu vaccine every year. Flu viruses are constantly changing. A different vaccine has to be made every year to ensure the best protection against flu. This is why the flu vaccine is offered every year to help protect your child during winter.
More information is available in the child flu vaccine leaflets.