More schools in Bury to use nasal flu spray

PROTECTION Imogen Sowerby, aged four, receives the new nasal flu vaccine at Christ Church Primary School, Ainsworth

PROTECTION Imogen Sowerby, aged four, receives the new nasal flu vaccine at Christ Church Primary School, Ainsworth

First published in News

A pioneering flu vaccination scheme is to be spread to more high schools in the borough following a successful trial in a Bury secondary school.

Tottington High was the only secondary school in the country to trial the Fluenz vaccine, which is delivered by a spray instead of a needle.

Public health bosses have revealed that 56 per cent of pupils at the school took part in the scheme.

Bury was chosen to take part in the trial for older children, after the borough was just one of seven local authorities in the country to have been selected to pilot the vaccination in primary schools.

The pilot in primary schools saw 10,528 vaccinations being delivered, an uptake of 67 per cent.

Diane Halton, public health service manager, said: “We had hoped for a take-up in primary schools of 60 per cent, so this is a great result.

“We’re also pleased with the 56 per cent uptake at Tottington High, which was amazing given it was organised and delivered in just two weeks.”

Bury will continue to deliver the vaccination in primary schools next year, and a phased introduction is being planned into secondary schools in 2014/15.

Children are being targeted by the scheme because they are the most likely age group to pass on germs to vulnerable people, including pregnant mothers and older relatives.

The vaccination has been used in the USA for more than 10 years, and has been declared as safe to use.

Cllr Rishi Shori, Bury’s cabinet member for adult care, health and housing, added: “Flu is highly contagious and potentially serious.

“Children are major transmitters of the flu virus, so this initiative has certainly reduced the risk of the virus spreading to older members of their families. Lives have been saved by the programme.”

The pilot scheme was designed to test the practicalities of delivering the vaccine to a large number of children in a school setting, and the results will be used to introduce the scheme across the country.

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