School Nurses across Hampshire will start their Year 9 teenage booster vaccinations programme in January 2018, protecting some 20,000 children against Diphtheria, Tetanus, Polio and Meningitis.
From January 2018 school nurses will be offering all Year 9 pupils across Hampshire the 3-in-1 Teenage Booster vaccination and Meningitis (Men) ACWY vaccination.
The new programme covers all Hampshire secondary schools including private and state schools (excluding those in Portsmouth and Southampton city) and includes children who are home educated.
Parents will be receiving information packs through schools with consent forms to permit the vaccines to be administered. The school nursing teams also offer information assemblies to pupils to explain the benefits of having the vaccinations. Parents of home educated children will also be informed of the programme by letter.
This programme had previously been delivered by GPs in the south of Hampshire - to adolescents registered at their practice that are in school years 9 or 10 - and by Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust (SHFT) School Nurses in the North to pupils in year 10.
Julie Hooper, the Trust’s Lead for School Nursing says: “It is important that young people are given these vaccines which provide protection against meningitis and septicemia (blood poisoning) and other serious diseases. Although Tetanus, Diphtheria and Polio are today rarely found in the UK due to successful immunisation programmes across the country, these diseases do still exist in other parts of the world where vaccinations are not so accessible. We need to maintain high levels of vaccination to ensure the diseases do not return to the UK. Infants, young children, teenagers and young adults have the highest risk of contracting meningitis and therefore it is important they complete the full course”.
Julie added ‘We are grateful for the support of secondary schools across Hampshire in helping us deliver these vital vaccines. We find delivering vaccinations in schools has a better take up rate and is more convenient to families whilst saving GP practice time in delivering the vaccinations. The two injections are given in the upper arm and the pupils are then able to return to class with minimal disruption’.