Good news! All children in Luton will now be offered a flu vaccine without pork gelatine

We are now able to offer the injectable vaccine for all children in Luton as well as the usual nasal spray. This is excellent news and means there is an option available with no pork gelatine for parents who declined the nasal spray containing pork gelatine. Every parent and carer will now be able to make sure their child is protected from flu.

Working together to recognise the importance for the Luton community, NHS England, Luton Council of Mosques, Luton Council and Essex Partnership University Trust (EPUT) have been able to secure an additional 10,000 flu vaccinations for Luton school children. Flu vaccination protects children, their families and the wider community from this unpleasant and sometimes deadly virus, so this will benefit the entire community.

Why is this important?

Flu is a serious illness for children as well as for adults, some may have to stay in bed for a few days, but others will have more serious complications. Every year, thousands of people are hospitalised with flu and sadly thirteen children died last year due to flu.

Flu spreads easily, even in those with no symptoms. Vaccinating children from flu can also help to reduce spread to more vulnerable members of the family and community including pregnant women, older people and those with long term health conditions.

This year it is more important than ever to make sure children and the wider community are protected from flu. Recent reports suggest that having both flu and COVID-19 together can lead to a more serious illness.

What are the two options?

Previously, most children will have been offered the nasal spray. The nasal spray is manufactured using pork gelatine and we know that some parents refuse the vaccine because of this. We have worked to ensure the injection will now also be offered as an alternative which does NOT contain pork gelatine. While the injection does not provide as much protection as the nasal spray, it will still give children important and valuable protection from flu and reduce spread in the community.

What should parents and carers do?

The flu vaccine is the best way to protect your child, it is safe, free and easy to get. If your child has not already been vaccinated, we would urge you to now make sure your children take the opportunity to receive this valuable protection from against flu.

Your child will be offered vaccination either at school or in a community clinic. Social distancing and safety measures are in place at both venues to prevent the spread of COVID-19 when giving the vaccine.

Please complete and return the consent form to your school as soon as possible. If you have previously refused the vaccine, you can now opt for your child to have either vaccine. There is also an option to attend a community clinic at the Chaul End Centre and appointments for this can be made through the booking line: 0300 790 0594

The flu vaccine is the best way to make sure your child stays free from flu this winter. Take advantage of this valuable protection- please sign and return the consent form.

For more information visit NHS UK.

Luton community comms non porcine vaccination