Parents are being urged to return their children’s flu vaccine consent before the deadline.
The latest childhood flu vaccination programme is underway in primary schools across Scotland.
As health professionals warn there is the potential for this year’s flu season to be serious, the benefits of the free nasal vaccine have been outlined in a bid to boost participation and ensure more children than ever are protected.
Latest figures highlight that over a quarter of eligible primary school children didn’t receive the vaccine in 2015.
As the deadline approaches, parents are being asked to ensure the consent form, which has been sent home in their child’s school bag, is returned as no child will receive the vaccination without parental consent.
The flu immunisation programme, which involves the vaccine being offered to 2-11 year olds, is expected to eventually prevent an estimated additional 200 deaths a year and 1100 hospitalisations.
Gregor Smith, Scottish Government Deputy Chief Medical Officer said: “This year, we want to be very clear about the benefits of the flu vaccine, in a bid to ensure more children than ever are protected.
“Quite simply the vaccine provides the best defence against flu. It’s been given to 850,000 children in Scotland since the childhood immunisation programme began and will help protect your child for around a year.
“This year’s flu season has the potential to be serious, so we’re advising parents to get their child vaccinated before winter sets in. Getting the vaccine only takes a few seconds, and takes around ten days to work.
“If you want to give your child the best chance of fighting flu this winter, I’d encourage you to look out for the consent form in your child’s bag, and return it within the seven day window.”
To find out more about the childhood flu vaccine and its benefits, visit www.immunisationscotland.org.uk/childflu or phone NHS Inform on 0800 224488.