Spread Fun Not Flu

Hundreds of brightly-coloured posters have been appearing in buildings across Forth Valley including schools, health centres, community pharmacies and libraries, to highlight the start of the 2014 childhood flu immunisation campaign.

The posters were approved by the Expanded Flu Group who worked with the Communications Department. They encourage children to spread fun not flu and are backed by a national TV, radio and press campaign.

This year, NHS Forth Valley is targeting a total of 33,000 children in GP surgeries and more than 120 primary schools across the health board area as part of an extended national child flu immunisation programme. The free nasal flu spray, which is quick to administer and pain free, is being offered to all youngsters between the ages of 2 and 11 although alternative forms are available for children who cannot have the nasal spray.

Spread Fun Not Flu 1 (2)Last year in Forth Valley a pilot scheme which trialled weekend sessions in certain schools was hailed a success and will be adopted again this year in local schools across the area.

NHS Forth Valley Consultant in Public Health Medicine, Dr Henry Prempeh, said: “We were delighted so many parents took the opportunity to accompany their children to the weekend vaccination sessions last year. This approach not only helped reassure youngsters by having Mum, Dad or a carer there, but it also gave adults the chance to ask any questions they had about the vaccination programme. Weekend vaccinations also mean less disruption to the school curriculum.”

The national child flu immunisation programme is being introduced in phases over the next few years and once it has been fully rolled-out to cover all children aged 2 -17 years, it is estimated that the programme will prevent an additional 200 deaths from flu across Scotland, and more than 1100 hospital admissions.