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Child flu vaccine pilots announced for second year

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PHE has announced 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. The pilots will be aimed at primary school children, with coverage being extended to 11-13 year-olds in selected secondary schools. The locations will include a selection of rural, urban and inner-city settings. The vaccination will mostly be administered as a nasal spray. The pilot scheme is being used to determine the most effective approach to implement the vaccination programme.

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 on-going close monitoring of the programme.'

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