Schools to stay well this winter with flu jab drive

Lisa Longstaff with sons Luke and Thomas.
Lisa Longstaff with sons Luke and Thomas.

Parents are being urged to protect their children from flu by taking advantage of a free vaccination programme.

All of South Tyneside’s primary schools are taking part in the initiative which sees youngsters receive the vaccine through a nasal spray.

The move is part of the Stay Well this Winter campaign which is encouraging those who are eligible to take up the offer.

Mum Lisa Longstaff, of Jarrow, has already had her sons, Thomas, eight, and six-year-old Luke vaccinated and is urging others to do the same.

She said: “My mam was poorly earlier this year with heart problems so it’s really important that she doesn’t have any extra illness to cope with. As children are the main carriers of the flu virus, it makes sense to have them vaccinated – both for their sakes and others around them.”

Coun Joan Atkinson, lead member for children, young people and families at South Tyneside Council, said: “It is great news that this vaccination programme is being rolled out across every single one of our primary schools, offering parents a quick and convenient way of protecting their children.

“Flu is highly contagious and can be serious for very young children, pregnant women and older people. For this reason I would urge parents to give consent and allow their children to be vaccinated.”

Parents of two to four-year-olds are also being encouraged to have their children vaccinated at their local doctor’s surgery. This is to protect them against flu and reduce the risk of the virus spreading.

The Ccouncil is also increasing opportunities for people who work with vulnerable people, such as those in care homes, to have the vaccine.

While most healthy people will recover from flu in a matter of days, for some it can mean a stay in hospital, permanent disability or even death. The Stay Well this Winter campaign aims to help people prepare for winter.

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