Flu jab is now being distributed to our school pupils in Cumbernauld and Kilsyth

A groundbreaking vaccination for both primary and secondary school pupils in North Lanarkshire is well underway as the youngsters start to receive a flu vaccination for the first time.

Flu spray

Running until December, all primary and secondary school pupils will be offered the vaccine which is given as a painless nasal spray.

Dr Mark Russell, Associate Medical Director, North Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “The roll-out of the flu programme this year has now started in Lanarkshire with the first pupils getting their flu vaccine in school.

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“Any pupils not in school on the day flu vaccinations are being delivered will be offered a vaccination at the catch-up immunisation session in their school. If you’ve not returned your consent form and the deadline has now passed for your school, you can still return the consent forms and these pupils will be included in the catch-up session.”

Public Health Minister Maree Todd said: “More people than ever are being offered the flu vaccine and we hope to see a large uptake amongst pupils as we aim to keep flu out of schools this year.

“Last year with the public health measures that were in place, there were lower levels of flu than there has been in previous years so our immunity levels to flu may be lower this year.

“The vaccines are safe and the best way to help protect you, and others, from flu this winter.”

The flu virus changes every year, so patients need to get the vaccine every year to stay protected. The flu vaccine cannot give a patient flu but it can stop them catching it. The COVID-19 vaccine does not offer any protection from flu – only the separate vaccine can provide this.

In a small number of cases, the nasal spray may not be suitable, and the vaccine can be given as an injection in the arm instead.

Meanwhile the distribution of the Covid-19 vaccination is continuing in its new base of operations after transferring from the Link Centre to the Muirfield Centre.

Flu jabs and booster jabs will also be distributed to patients in the community centre which neighbours the Tryst Centre but details of this programme still have to be finalised.

The flu jab is now open to all over 50s this year.