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Vaccinations (school immunisations)

We look after all the school-based vaccine programmes in Buckinghamshire. We cover over 220 primary schools and 72 secondary schools (including private and independent schools). Vaccinations are given in-line with the National childhood Immunisation Programme and national campaigns.


Measles outbreaks

Incidences of Measles are increasing in London and the West Midlands. Measles is highly infectious and can be very serious.

Please check your child’s red book or contact your GP to ensure your child is fully protected. Two doses of the combined MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine) are required after the age of 12 months of age.

Appointments for any missing doses are available from your GP.

The school aged Immunisation team are also running community catch up clinics.  Call us on 01494 323000 for an appointment

You can find more information about measles and the MMR vaccination below:


Routine vaccine catch-up clinics

We offer local catch-up clinics across the county for children and young people who miss school vaccination sessions, for young people educated at home, or young people with an individual need such as needlephoebia, anxiety and ASD.

Find out more information about routine vaccine catch-up clinics.

How we can help

If you, or your child has any concerns about vaccinations, for example, if your child is needle phobic, has additional needs or a health condition or disability, call us on 01494 323000 or email us on buc-tr.BucksChildImms@nhs.net.

Vaccinations we offer

For information about vaccinations for infants and pre-school children please see information about pre-school health checks and vaccinations on our health visiting page.

Your child should be up-to-date with their childhood immunisations before starting primary school. You can check when and what immunisations they should have.

For flu season 2023 to 2024, we have confirmation that the flu vaccination programme is available to all primary and secondary school aged children between the ages of 4 and 16 years (Reception to Year 11) via planned sessions in schools and community catch up clinics. We’ll offer these between September and December 2023.

For this season we can offer flu vaccinations (nasal or IM) to children aged 2 to
3 years old from the week after half term (from 30 October 2023). We’ll offer these vaccines at our community catch up clinics.

Giving consent for your child

For more information contact the immunisation team on 01494 323000. You can use the vaccination consent form to give consent for your child’s vaccination.

For children aged 2 to 3 years old, use this school code EE888881 on the consent form.

Children in special schools

In special schools we offer flu vaccines to young people older than 16 due to their vulnerability to flu virus. We’ll vaccinate in special schools across Buckinghamshire in Septem,ber as soon as we get the vaccine.

For this year we can offer flu vaccinations for children aged 2 to 3 years in the
four special schools that have provision for this age.

 

Further information about the flu vaccine

Flu can be a very unpleasant illness in children and adults alike, causing fever, stuffy nose, dry cough, sore throat, aching muscles and joints and extreme tiredness. This can often last a few days and be accompanied by a very high fever; some children may even require hospital admission for management and treatment of severe symptoms.

The flu vaccine used is Fluenz Tetra, (also referred to as Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine or LAIV).  It is administered to children as a nasal spray.  It is quick, painless and provides the best protection against the flu virus.

Fluenz Tetra uses porcine gelatine as a stabiliser during the manufacturing process, although there is no porcine DNA present in the administered vaccine due to being highly processed.

We would encourage all parents to consent to their children receiving the intra -nasal vaccine as it is the most effective. However for those who prefer to receive a porcine-free vaccine, or if your child or a member of the family with whom your child has unavoidable contact is immunosuppressed then an alternative flu vaccine in injection form will be available from the beginning of the flu programme this year.  The immunisation team are happy to give this vaccination in school but if you prefer, an appointment can be made at one of our community catch up clinics. Please email the immunisation team on buc-tr.Buckschildhoodimms@nhs.net for further information

More information

Public Health England information about porcine gelatine

Letter about vaccines and Islam from World health Organisation

Letter about Porcine Gelatine from AstraZeneca

Vaccine Knowledge | (ox.ac.uk)

The HPV vaccine helps protect you from being infected by the human papillomavirus (HPV). This virus increases the risk of developing some cancers later in life, such as:

  • cervical cancer
  • some mouth and throat cancers
  • some cancers of the anus and genital areas.

The HPV vaccine does not protect against other sexually transmitted infections. To provide the very best protection, it is important that your child is vaccinated against the HPV virus before they come sexually active, which is why it’s offered in year 8.

Watch the video on the HPV wise website about reducing the risk of certain HPV cancers.

HPV vaccination schedules

The JCVI, the UK’s vaccination advisory group and SAGE, the World Health
Organization’s immunisation expert advisory group recommend that after a review of all evidence from studies around the world about the required number of doses of the vaccine, the school-based programme moves to a one dose schedule for boys and girls.

They’re confident that one dose of the HPV vaccination is as effective
and lasts as long as two doses in preventing HPV infection for under 25s.
This year there’s a change to the HPV schedule.

Children who become eligible for the HPV vaccine from the academic year 2023 to 2024 (date of birth between 1 September 2010 to 31 August 2011) onwards will only need one dose. This will continue to be routinely offered to children in school year 8 and those of an equivalent age who are not in mainstream education.

For those children who became eligible for the HPV vaccination programme in the 2022 to 2023 academic year (date of birth between 1 September 2009 to 31 August 2010) the following applies:

1. Those who started their HPV vaccination schedule and have already received one dose of the vaccine will be considered fully vaccinated.

2. Those who have not yet received any HPV vaccinations will be eligible to receive one dose of the HPV vaccine.

All other cohorts who require catch-up via their SAIS provider or general practice will move to a one dose schedule from 1 September 2023, and remain eligible until their 25th birthday.

Although the HPV vaccine is offered to boys and girls in Year 8, it is recommended that all young people from the age of 12 years up to their 25th birthday receive the vaccine.

If your daughter is 12-25 years and has not received her HPV vaccine please contact the Immunisation Team on 01494 323000.

If your son has not received his HPV vaccine and was in school year 8 (in September 2019 he is eligible) please contact the Immunisation Team on 01494 323000.

More information

Find out more from www.nhs.net about the HPV vaccine

The brand name for the HPV vaccination is GARDASIL.

Gardasil 9, INN-Human Papillomavirus 9 valent Vaccine (Recombinant, adsorbed) (medicines.org.uk)

HPV vaccine reduces cervical cancer by 87% (kcl.ac.uk)

Vaccine Knowledge | (ox.ac.uk)

All young people in school Year 9 are offered the Men ACWY vaccination as part of the routine Childhood Immunisation Schedule. This is administered as a single injection into the upper arm.

What is meningitis and septicaemia?

Meningitis is inflammation of the lining of the brain, and can be the result of infection with a virus, bacteria, or other disease-causing organism, or as a result of injury.

There are five main groups of meningococcal bacteria that can cause meningitis and septicaemia – A, B, C, W and Y.

As well as meningitis, meningococcal infection can lead to septicaemia (blood poisoning), which is very serious, especially if not diagnosed early, and can lead to death.

Men ACWY Schedule

For protection against four groups (A, C, W and Y) of meningococcal infection, routinely the Men ACWY vaccine is given in Year 9 (aged 13 to 14).

It is important to have one dose of Men ACWY before you reach 19 years of age, or if you are going to university for the first time. If you have missed this, please contact the Immunisation Team on 01494 323000.

It is recommended that all first time university entrants (‘freshers’) up to 25 years old should have the Men ACWY vaccine before or soon after they start university. New university students are at particularly high risk in the first weeks of term when they will come into contact with many new people of a similar age.

The brand name for the Men ACWY vaccination is NIMENRIX.

The Td/IPV (Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Polio) vaccination is usually administered at the same time as the Men ACWY vaccination (please see information below about Td/IPV).

More information

pil.4118.pdf (medicines.org.uk)

MenACWY vaccine – NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Vaccine Knowledge | (ox.ac.uk)

All young people in school Year 9 are offered the Td/IPV (teenage booster) vaccination as part of the routine Childhood Immunisation Schedule. This is administered as a single injection into the upper arm.

What is tetanus?

Tetanus is a painful disease affecting the nervous system which can lead to muscle spasms, cause breathing problems and can kill. It is caused when germs found in the soil and manure get into the body through open cuts or burns. Tetanus cannot be passed from person to person.

What is diphtheria?

Diphtheria is a serious disease that usually begins with a sore throat and can quickly cause breathing problems. It can damage the heart and nervous system, and in severe cases, it can kill.

What is polio?

Polio is a virus that attacks the nervous system which can cause permanent paralysis of muscles. If it affects the chest muscles or the brain, polio can kill.

The Td/IPV vaccine is a single booster vaccination against Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Polio. You need a total of five doses to build up and keep your immunity.  Everyone should have:

  • the first three doses as a baby, usually offered at 2 months, 3 months and 4 months of age
  • the fourth dose when you are between three and five years old, before starting school, and
  • the fifth dose is due in Year 9 (aged 13 to 14)

If you have missed any of these, please contact the Immunisation Team on 01494 323000.

The brand name for the Td/IPV vaccination is REVAXIS.

For more information please read the REVAXIS leaflet.

Vaccine Knowledge | (ox.ac.uk)

Measles, Mumps and Rubella are viral infections that can quickly spread to unprotected children and adults – they spread more easily than flu, COVID-19 or the common cold.

We have had a measles outbreak in Buckinghamshire over the past few months which has resulted in some children becoming very unwell requiring hospitalisation. It’s really important to check if your child is up to date with their MMR vaccines.

Uptake of the MMR vaccine has reduced recently. This has in part been due to the pandemic and parents not being about to access their GP surgery. As a result of this, unless more children are vaccinated with the MMR vaccine,  we are expecting to see an increase in cases of measles in particular over the next few months.

What is measles?

Measles is a very infectious viral illness that is spread by coughs and sneezes. If you are not protected and have even passing contact with someone who has measles, the chances are that you will be infected too.

There is no treatment or cure for measles. Symptoms include fever, sore red eyes, and rash. Complications are more likely to occur in certain groups including people with weakened immune systems, babies under one year old and pregnant women. Complications can include chest and ear infections, fits, diarrhoea, encephalitis (infection of the brain) and brain damage.

What is mumps?

Mumps is a viral illness that is spread by coughs and sneezes or close contact with someone who already has the infection. Symptoms usually last around two weeks and can include headache and fever but the most common symptom is swelling of the glands at the side of the face.

There is currently no medication to cure mumps so treatment is focused on relieving symptoms. Complications can be very painful and can include inflammation of the ovaries or testicles, and in rarer cases, the pancreas. Mumps can also cause viral meningitis and encephalitis (infection of the brain). Although permanent hearing loss after mumps is rare, around one in 20 people infected may have temporary hearing loss.

What is rubella (German Measles)?

Rubella is a viral illness that is now rare in the UK.  It is spread in a similar way to mumps and measles. For most people, it is usually a mild condition that gets better in 7 to 10 days without treatment. However, if pregnant women develop rubella it can be very serious for their unborn baby. Symptoms include a rash, cold-like symptoms, and aching joints.

The vaccine

The MMR vaccine gives long lasting protection with just two doses of the vaccine. It is a single injection that is administered into the thigh of young children or the upper arm of older children or adults. The first dose is usually given at the age of 12 months and the second dose around three years and four months, before starting school.

It is never too late to have the vaccine if you have missed one dose, had single vaccines, or never had any at all.

If you are unsure whether you have previously had the vaccine, you can check with the Immunisation Team on 01494 323000, or the nurse/ GP at your surgery.

Some adolescents and young adults are offered the MMR vaccine with their other teenage booster vaccines.

We ask if your child is up to date with their MMR vaccination on all of our vaccine consent forms, along with the Tetanus, Diphtheria, Polio and Pertussis (DTaP/IPV) or pre-school booster , if your child has missed it. Please contact the Immunisation Team on 01494 323000 to make an appointment.

More information

The brand name for the MMR vaccination is PRIORIX.
For more information please read the PRIORIX leaflet.

The brand name for the DTaP/IPV vaccine is REPEVAX.
For more information please read the REPEVAX leaflet.

The COVID vaccination programme has now changed for children.

Children aged 5 to 11 years old and 12 to 17 years old.

For those children not classed in an at risk group, the offer of a primary or secondary dose has now closed. If your child is classed as ‘at risk’ and is yet to receive their first, second, or in some circumstances a third primary dose, then please email bht.covidvaccineteam@nhs.net who will be able to advise you when and how to access these vaccinations.

Some children they may be eligible to receive a booster which will be offered during the campaigns for either Spring or Autumn/Winter. Please see the national communication messages sent out by NHS England detailing when these campaigns start and finish and who would be eligible to receive a vaccine.

During these times, the COVID vaccine team will run dedicated clinics or appointment times for children aged 5 to 11 and 12 to 17. You can access these appointments using the National Booking system. Book, cancel or change a COVID-19 vaccination appointment alongside any other providers in your area.

If your child has a learning disability, and you would like them to have a COVID-19 vaccination, there are specialist clinics being run at Amersham Hospital.

Appointments can be requested by emailing bht.covidvaccineteam@nhs.net, where we can inform you of our next booked clinics, and can discuss any additional needs or requirements your young person may have.

Children aged 6 months to 4 years old

Children aged 6 months to 4 years in a clinical risk group (as defined in the Green
Book) can now be given two 3-microgram doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (ComirnatyÂź) with an interval of at least 8 weeks between the first and second doses.

Referrals will need to be received to access this vaccination which can either by completed by the child’s GP (after a discussion with parents/carers) or by parents and carers directly.

The BHT COVID vaccine team will run dedicated clinics for these children at
Amersham Hospital or Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

For more information, please
email bht.covidvaccineteam@nhs.net The team will be happy to answer
questions or provide the referral form, pathway and clinic details.

More information

COVID-19 vaccination of children aged 6 months to 4 years: JCVI advice, 9
December 2022 (updated 26 April 2023)

COVID-19 vaccinations: A guide for parents of children aged 6 months to 11 years of age at high risk

Comirnaty 3 micrograms/dose concentrate for dispersion for injection COVID-19
mRNA Vaccine (nucleoside modified) – summary of product characteristics

Comirnaty 10 micrograms/dose concentrate for dispersion for injection Children 5 to 11 years COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine (nucleoside modified) – summary of product characteristics 

Comirnaty Original/Omicron BA.1 15/15 micrograms per dose dispersion for injection COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine (nucleoside modified) – summary of product characteristics

Is it safe to co-administer COVID-19 vaccinations with any other immunisations?

Yes. There’s no evidence to indicate that it’s not safe to co-administer COVID-19
vaccines with any other immunisation or at any interval either side of a COVID-19 vaccine.

How your child will get their vaccination

When your son or daughter reaches the eligible age for a vaccine, you’ll get an email including an electronic consent form, a covering letter and a patient information leaflet via your child’s school.

You can complete the form online. Please complete and return the consent form, even if you do not want your child vaccinated. There is a section on every form that allows you to refuse the vaccination.

If you’re unsure which vaccinations your child has had, please call your GP. We may also be able to help you with this.

Submitting your consent form

The portal for the electronic consent form now stays open to allow for any last-minute consents to come through. However, we would be grateful if you could complete your consent form as soon as possible to allow us enough time to triage the consent form in advance of the session and ensure we bring enough vaccine to the school on the day.

If you do not submit your form by this time, and you would like your child vaccinated, please contact the immunisation team on 01494 323000 to complete a consent form over the telephone. If your child misses their vaccination at school or you would like your child vaccinated at a community clinic location, please contact the immunisation team to arrange an appointment.

If you can not access an electronic form, call us on 01494 323000.

If your child is home educated or does not attend school

Call us on 01494 323000 and we can arrange for your child to attend a community catchup clinic for their vaccinations.

Parents who wish to withdraw their consent for vaccination MUST email bht.BucksImmsconsentwithdrawal@nhs.net at least 24 hours prior to the date of the immunisation session.

Please state on the email your child’s school, their name, year group, date of birth and vaccine being given.

For children or young people having injections, it’s important that they wear short sleeves that allow easy access to their upper arms, or wear a vest or t-shirt under their school shirt.

Privacy in schools is often limited and it can be embarrassing to remove clothing. It’s also important that your child eats breakfast and stays hydrated before their vaccination.

Our team will visit your child’s school and will be assisted by school staff to identify children correctly.

We usually offer a catch up session in school. You can also arrange for your child to come to one of our community catch up clinics.

Call us on 01494 323000.

We understand that children with special educational needs or disabilities may be very anxious about having vaccinations. We work closely with the community nurses for children with learning disabilities team, as well as the school nurses, to support children and make their experience as stress free as possible.

When your child is vaccinated in school or community catch up clinic, the vaccination is reported to Child Health Information Services who will tell your GP if they’re in Buckinghamshire. You’ll get an email giving the details of the vaccination and any possible side effects later that day which can be printed off for your child’s immunisation records.

Contact

Immunisation (vaccinations) team
Immunisation (vaccinations) team

01494 323000