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Childhood Illnesses

School Age Immunisations

After your child receives their baby and pre-school immunisations at the doctors, the rest of their childhood vaccinations are given in school by the School Age Immunisation Service.

This service is available to all children and young people of school age, whether they attend state school, independent school, complex needs schools or alternative settings.

Children and young people who are educated at home can attend community clinics or their local school to receive the vaccines. Please contact the team on the details at the bottom of the page.

How Vaccines Work

When your child has a vaccine they develop antibodies to protect against the disease. After this, if your child comes into contact with the disease, their body will recognise it and know how to fight against it with those antibodies.

Immunisation Schedule

Below is a list of immunisations that school age children will receive and when they will be given them.

Dive Deeper

Myth Busting

In recent years there have been a lot of stories about vaccines in the media and online. Many of these are not based on any facts but have made people worry. It is important that you get information about vaccinations from a trusted source. The Oxford Vaccine Knowledge Project  gives independent fact checked information.

I’m worried the vaccines could be harmful to my child

All the vaccines given are very carefully tested for a long time before they are approved for use on humans and continue to be monitored. Complications are very, very rare whereas the diseases they protect us from are very dangerous.

Can my child have their vaccine if they have a cough or cold?  

Yes - as long as they don’t have a fever they can have the vaccine.

I’ve heard homeopathy / special diets can be used instead of vaccines is this true? 

There is no proof that homeopathy / diets can protect your child from serious diseases. We know that vaccinations do.

Is it better to get the disease and try and get immune that way? 

This is very risky because the diseases that vaccines protect us from can have very serious complications.

Feeling Ready

It’s completely normal for children and young people to feel a bit worried about having their vaccines. Talking to your child about what is going to happen can help you keep them calm.

Here are some facts from School Immunisation Team that may help your child feel less worried.

  • The needles are not huge - just long enough to get to the right place!
  • The injection is not like a blood test; it is quicker and It feels like a pinch or a cat scratch.
  • The needle cannot break off in your arm and your arm will not fall off!
  • You cannot get the disease from the vaccination.

Remind your child that vaccines are a very important way of protecting themselves as well as those people who are not able to have vaccinations because of some rare health conditions.

Top Tips

Your child might be calm and confident about having the vaccine, but there are still some things you can do so they are prepared.

  • Make sure your child wears short sleeves on the day to make it easier to ‘get at’ the top of their arm. If this is not uniform they could wear a vest under their school shirt.
  • Make sure they have breakfast - being anxious burns more calories and can cause a headache after the injection.
  • Remind your child to ignore rumours and scary stories about vaccines.
  • If you, or your child, have any worries or questions call the school immunisation team.
  • Practise relaxation techniques to help with any anxiety.

Remember there will be a nurse to support your child and chat to them about what is happening. They are skilled at helping children cope with their nerves.

HospiChill is a free app to help young people feel physically and emotionally ready for each of their immunisations.

If your child is extremely anxious please get in touch with the service. We can talk about how we can help them. Sometimes it helps if;

  • They get the vaccine in the school medical room away from others.
  • They have the vaccine before the main session.
  • They attend a community clinic.

Home visits are available in rare circumstances when there is a specific medical need.

After Care

After the injection your child can carry on as normal.

  • They should move their arm regularly after their injection. This helps stop the arm feeling stiff.
  • They might have common mild side effects like redness, pain and swelling at the injection site. Paracetamol can be taken if needed.

If you think your child is unwell you should contact the GP or 111. If you have any questions about the vaccinations you can contact the team on the number below.

Consent

Very occasionally a young person under the age of 16 may request a vaccination without parental consent. In these circumstances a qualified clinician would make a thorough assessment of the young person’s understanding, knowledge and competence to make such a decision.

If the decision is made that they have the right level of knowledge and understanding, and they cannot be persuaded to discuss it with their parents, the clinician may go ahead and vaccinate the young person. This is known as being Gillick Competent.

Missed Appointments & Alternative Settings

If your child misses a vaccination session in their school, or if you are home schooling your children, they can still get this important protection from disease. For missed covid-19 vaccinations you can attend your local vaccination centre.

GPs can offer catch-up for;

  • HPV
  • MMR

Other vaccinations can be accessed by;

  • Attending a community clinics.
  • Joining another vaccination session in a local school.

The HPV course can be started for young women up to the day before their 18th birthday. Other high school vaccinations are available up to the age of 19.

Who can Help?

For questions or queries about school age immunisations you can contact Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust by calling 0300 555 5055 and selecting Option 2 or emailing hct.csaisnorfolk@nhs.net

If you are 11-19 you can text Chathealth on 07480 635060 for confidential advice from one of the Healthy Child Programme team.

You can speak to other Norfolk parents and carers by clicking our online community forum below. 

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