COVID-19 update

Flu vaccination is one of the most effective interventions we have to reduce pressure on the health and social care system this winter. We are currently seeing the impact of COVID-19 on the NHS and social care, and this coming winter we may be faced with the circulation of both COVID-19 and flu. Those most at risk from flu are also most vulnerable to COVID-19. We must do all we can to help protect them this winter.

Please be assured that we will be working with your child’s school to ensure that we adhere to the latest government guidelines. This includes wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) during the immunisations to protect both your child and the team members. Watch our video to find out more

Who is this service for?

This year (2020) the vaccination programme will include reception year through to year 7 children.

The vaccination is free and recommended for children and will be given by a quick and simple spray up the nose.

If you child does not attend school and is in the eligible age group above, we will contact you to invite your child to a community clinic. You are also welcome to contact us to arrange your child’s immunisation using the details on this page.

Some frequently asked questions

Use of porcine gelatine in flu vaccines

The ‘flu vaccine is a nasal spray which contains a highly processed form of gelatine (porcine gelatine), which is used in a range of essential medicines.
The gelatine helps to keep the vaccine viruses stable so that the vaccine provides the best protection against ‘flu.

Some faith groups accept the use of porcine gelatine in medical products – the decision is, of course, up to you.

If you would like to discuss this with the team, please contact us on 01275 373104 or email: sirona.sch-imms@nhs.net

For further information about porcine gelatine and the nasal flu vaccine, read how and why porcine gelatine is used in vaccines.

Information on eggs in vaccines

The viruses used in this vaccine are grown on hens’ eggs and the vaccine may contain very small amounts of egg protein.

Children with an egg allergy can safely have the nasal spray vaccine, unless they have had a life-threatening reaction to eggs that required intensive care.

Flu vaccine shedding

The nasal spray vaccine has a good safety record. Unvaccinated children or adults are not at risk of catching ‘flu from the vaccine, either through being in the same room where flu vaccine has been given or by being in contact with a recently vaccinated individual.

Although vaccinated children are known to shed virus for a few days after vaccination, it is less able to spread from person to person than the natural infection. The amount of virus shed is normally below the levels needed to pass on infection to others and the virus does not survive for long outside of the body.

This is in contrast to natural flu infection, which spreads easily during the flu season.

Side effects and adverse reactions

Common side effects of this flu vaccine can include a runny or blocked nose, loss of appetite, tiredness and headaches. If these symptoms persist for more than a few days or if you are worried about your child please contact your GP for advice. Suspected adverse reactions can be reported using the yellow card scheme at  or visit the NHS website.

Children in clinical risk groups

If your child is in a clinical risk group (please refer to the leaflet provided with the letter and consent form sent to you in September 2019) and has never received a flu immunisation before, they should have a second dose approximately 4 weeks from their first immunisation date. To arrange an appointment please contact the Immunisation Coordination Team on 01275 373104 or email us.

If you have missed the school immunisation session

If your child(ren) has missed their school immunisation, there are sessions across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire. To arrange an appointment please contact the Immunisation Coordination Team on 01275 373104 or email us.

Service provided by Sirona

School Immunisations Team

01275 373104

Email this service

Related documents

Letters to parents/guardians, the consent form and further information can be found below. If you have mislaid the consent form, please print from here and return to your child’s school.