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Child flu vaccination pilots extended

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Child flu vaccination pilots extended Child flu vaccination pilots extended

PHE has announced further pilots across a range of new locations for the second year of its child flu vaccination scheme.

More than 700,000 children in England will be given free flu vaccinations this winter in selected secondary schools, as coverage is extended to 11- to 13-year-olds.

The locations will include a selection of rural, urban and inner-city settings.

Primary school children were the focus of the initial pilots last year.

The pilot scheme is being used to determine the most effective approach to implement the vaccination programme.

The vaccination will be administered to most children as a nasal spray.

Dr Mary Ramsay, PHE's head of immunisation, said: 'Last year there was an overall uptake of 52.5 per cent in school-age children and early findings from the pilots suggest a likely impact of vaccinating on levels of flu circulating more widely. The high uptake levels achieved in most pilot areas last year using school-based delivery demonstrate the feasibility of achieving high coverage levels and this is encouraging as we approach the second year of the pilots. However, it is important that we continue this ongoing close monitoring of the programme.'

PHE hopes that by vaccinating more children, the spread of flu to their families and other contacts is limited.

In the autumn, children aged two, three and four will be offered the flu vaccine, alongside the current flu vaccination programme for those in at-risk groups.

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