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Immunisation Team

About the School Aged Immunisation team

The School Aged Immunisation team consists of registered nurses and healthcare support workers who are commissioned by NHS England to deliver the National School Aged Programme of Immunisations across Berkshire. These programmes are mainly delivered in schools, but may be delivered in community clinics or homes for children who are unable to access school-based provisions.

Our school-based immunisation programme includes:

  • National Flu Programme: This is offered every autumn to all children from reception up to year 6 in primary school, and from reception upwards in all of our special educational needs schools
  • Human Papilloma Virus (HPV): This is a two dose programme (given 6 to 24 months apart) dose 1 is offered to all boys and girls in year 8 of school
  • Diphtheria, Tetanus & Polio booster (Td/IPV) and Meningitis ACWY booster injections: Two vaccinations offered to all pupils in Year 9, usually delivered in the spring term
  • MMR targeted catch up programme: for children and young people in year 2 and year 9 of school who are known to have an incomplete MMR history, this catch up programme is offered throughout the academic year.

 

All state maintained, academy and free schools and most independent schools are included in the programme, including special schools and pupil referral units. For children who are home educated or have missed their dose at school, community clinics are provided across Berkshire. If your child has missed their routine school immunisations, please contact the team as they can be provide these immunisations up until young people finish full time education.

If your child is needle phobic, highly anxious or you are worried, contact the team, and they will be able to advise how they can be supported to receive their immunisation. Contact the school-aged immunisation team to find out when these are in your area.

If you would like to know more about the childhood vaccination schedule, visit the NHS vaccinations page

For a souce of independent information about vaccines and infectious diseases visit Vaccine Knowledge Project 

See the Document Downloads section to view the Public Health England vaccination schedule.

The NHS has produced a great resource explaining why vaccines are safe and necessary

Wherever possible, the work of our team will continue although, in some cases, not in the way you may be used to.

The school aged immunisation programme is currently on hold.

If your child is due their school immunisations this year, please do not contact your GP regarding this as they are not commissioned to administer any school aged immunisations. Please contact your immunisation team with any queries - see the contact details for your local area section for their details.

Immunisations for babies are still being given – contact your GP to discuss this and visit our Health Visiting pages for more information.

Our team aims to continue our vaccination programme when it becomes possible. For now, stay home, stay safe. 

 

You don’t need to refer your child for vaccinations. We’ll send a consent form home to you, via the school, to ask for your consent for your child to be vaccinated when they’re due the next vaccine on the national schedule. The form will explain where you can get more information from about the vaccine. You’ll need to return the completed consent form to your school, where it will be collected by the team. 

The school will then tell you when we will be coming to your child’s school to immunise your child. We visit your child’s school on the date and time planned. The nurse will check their consent form with them, make sure they understand what’s happening and check they’re well enough to have the vaccination.

Children of secondary school age might be able to give their own consent for their immunisation, if they can demonstrate they fully understand the benefits and risks.

If your child is home educated, or not fully accessing the curriculum, they can be immunised at their local community clinic by our team. You will need to go with them.

All children and young people who have a vaccination are given the opportunity to give feedback about the service they received. Our team ask schools for their feedback as well.

 

 

 

All children in the UK are offered the combined MMR vaccine at 12 months and again at 3 years and 4 months, which means they would be fully protected against measles, mumps and rubella by the time they start primary school. To make sure your child's vaccines are up to date either check your child's personal health record (red book) or contact your GP.

Cases of measles are on the increase. It is an extremely contagious virus that can lead to serious complications. See our news story and the Measles leaflet in the Document Downloads section at the bottom of this page for more information. Measles is a highly infectious viral illness which can be very unpleasant and sometimes lead to serious complications. The disease is still endemic in many countries around the world including within Europe, with France, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, and Germany reporting the highest cases. If you are planning on travelling abroad, make sure you check your child's red book and contact your GP if they are not up to date with two MMR vaccinations.

If your child has not received two combined MMR vaccines they are not protected. It is not too late to get this done. Contact the school-aged immunisation team on schoolimmunisationteam@berkshire.nhs.uk or call 01753 636759 for East Berkshire or 0118 9207575 for West Berkshire.

More information

Public Health England has produced an informative leaflet on the MMR vaccine, available in 21 languages.

Why is the UK seeing a rise in measles cases? BBC News article

'Significant' rise in mumps cases in Wales - BBC News article

Guidance on combined MMR vaccine instead of single vaccines - Public Health England

Information on MMR Vaccine - Vaccine Knowledge Project

MMR vaccine overview - NHS 

Video from Public Health Agency on why the MMR vaccine is important

All primary school aged children are entitled to have the flu vaccination. This is commissioned to be given in school and community clinics. Children with certain medical conditions will receive their vaccination at their GP surgery.

The flu vaccine will protect your child against flu and serious complications such as bronchitis and pneumonia, and will prevent the spread of infection to others, which is particularly important with vulnerable groups. It is a nasal spray and is painless and easy to receive. If your child is aged two or three on 31 August 2019 they are eligible to have the flu vaccine at their local general practice. See the leaflets below for further information on the flu vaccine and eligibility.

The nasal flu vaccination programme is being piloted in primary schools across England. Find out more.

See the Document Downloads section for more information on the flu vaccination. 

By the end of December 2019, the Berkshire Immunisation team offered the flu vaccination to all school aged children in the majority of schools across Berkshire. The team provide flu vaccinations to all children from Reception to year 6, and Reception upwards in SEN schools.

The flu season runs into early spring, so it's not too late to vaccinate your child in January. Unless your school aged child is in an at risk group (they have a medical condition that puts them at more risk from complications of flu) they cannot access the vaccination via their  GP, only via the school immunisation team.

 

Human Papilomavirus (HPV) is a common group of viruses that affects the skin. It is very common, easy to catch, and most people will get HPV of some type at some time in their life. It has no symptoms, so you may not know if you have it. Most HPV infections do not cause any problems and are cleared by the body's immune system within two years. Some types can, however, lead to genital warts or abnormal cell changes that could turn into cancer, most commonly cervical cancer in women, but also cancer of the anus, throat and penis in men, and vagina and vulva in women. 90% of genital warts are due to HPV.

Although HPV is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections in the UK and is passed through sexual contact, it is important that young people are vaccinated to provide them with protection for later on in life if, and when, they choose to become sexually active. The vaccine works best if girls and boys get it before they come into contact with HPV (ie, before they become sexually active). HPV can be caught by any skin to skin contact of the genital area; vaginal, anal or oral sex; or sharing sex toys.

The HPV vaccine has been offered to all girls in school year 8 for over ten years. From September 2019 the vaccine has also been offered to year 8 boys. This is because the evidence is clear that the HPV vaccine helps protect both boys and girls from HPV-related cancers. 

Young people aged 12-13 (in year 8) will be offered two doses of the HPV vaccine (6-24 months apart). Both doses are required in order to give full protection.

More information

Jo's Trust - the UK's leading cervical cancer charity - information about HPV, cervical screening and cervical cancer

HPV Wise - information on the HPV vaccine and infection

NHS Choices information on HPV

See the document downloads section for more information on HPV.

 

Local area contact details

Berkshire West (Wokingham, Reading, West Berkshire)

0118 920 7575

schoolimmunisationteam@berkshire.nhs.uk

Berkshire East (Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, Slough, Bracknell)

01753 636759

schoolimmunisationteam@berkshire.nhs.uk

School Aged Immunisation Advice Line

From 27 April we are introducing a new School Aged Immunisation Advice Line for parents and carers of school aged children (4 to 16 years), on 07929185006 from 10am-2pm Monday to Friday, excluding Bank Holidays.

The advice line can provide you with information and advice around a range of immunisation related issues, including:

  • Specific immunisation programmes aimed at school aged children:
    • Influenza – primary school and special educational needs schools
    • Universal HPV – years 8 and 9
    • Tetanus, Diphtheria and Polio Booster – year 9
    • Meningitis ACWY – year 9
    • Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) – catch up programme for all school ages
  • Dosages, schedules and how vaccines are given
  • Incomplete immunisation history – what vaccines your child may need
  • Information about planned and upcoming school sessions/ community clinics

In September 2019 we launched a Berkshire-wide immunisation service for 0-19 year olds. We offer advice and support to families about immunisations from the routine UK children’s immunisation schedule.

We aim to engage and educate families about immunisations, improve access to immunisations and raise awareness of immunisations generally through partnership working and initiatives around Berkshire. 

How to access this service

Currently, the immunisation nurse can give immunisations to 5-19 year olds where families are struggling to access their GP surgery such as at a home or community visit (certain criteria applies). Families can contact the immunisation nurse for more information via telephone/email. 

Professionals should request and complete an electronic referral form by emailing schoolimmunisationteam@berkshire.nhs.uk Referrals will be assessed on an individual basis.

Immunisations are given to under 5s by GP surgeries but the immunisation nurse is available to offer advice and information on immunisations over the telephone or face-to-face at a home/community visit or at the GP surgery. 

Contact the immunisation nurse 

The immunisation nurse can be contacted Monday to Friday, by phone: 07798 682445 or email: nicola.smith@berkshire.nhs.uk

You can find more information by visiting: