The WHO estimates that 3 million lives are saved every year worldwide through immunisation. Immunisation is a way of protecting against serious diseases such as flu, measles, and meningitis. After immunisation, our bodies are better able to fight these diseases if we come into contact with them.
Cardiff and Vale UHB actively encourages schools to check whether their pupils and staff are up to date with the vaccines they need, helping to keep school communities safe and as well as possible. A checklist of the vaccines that are routinely offered to everyone in the UK for free on the NHS, and the ages at which they should ideally be given can be found on the NHS 111 Wales website.
The National Immunisation Programme offers protection against a number of infectious diseases. We actively encourage all primary schools to promote the benefits of immunisation to parents of children who are starting school each year to ensure they are protected.
The Complete Routine Immunisation Schedule from January 2020 is available online, and provides more in-depth information about each recommended vaccination programme across the human age span.
All children in primary school are now eligible to be vaccinated against flu each year. This will be offered in school time and delivered by the school nursing team across Cardiff and Vale localities. Most children have the nasal spray vaccine rather than the injection. Flu can affect anyone, but rates are high among children and can make them feel unwell. Children are also known as ‘super spreaders’, therefore increasing the risks of spreading the virus to vulnerable family members or friends. More information can be found on the Public Health Wales Beat Flu website. We actively encourage all schools to promote the flu vaccine amongst staff, pupils and families in order to keep everyone well and help prevent outbreaks within their communities.
As a part of the school immunisation programme, both girls and boys in Year 8 are now offered the HPV vaccine. This will be offered in school time and delivered by the school nursing team across Cardiff and the Vale localities. Pupils wishing to be vaccinated against HPV will receive their first dose in Year 8 and their second dose in Year 9. It is important to have both doses of the vaccine to be fully protected. More information can be found on the NHS 111 Wales HPV webpage, or you can talk to your school nurse confidentially to discuss any queries or concerns.
The teenage booster, also known as the 3-in-1 or the Td/IPV vaccine, is given as a single injection into the upper arm to boost your child's protection against three separate diseases: tetanus, diphtheria and polio. This vaccine is available routinely by GP surgeries for all young people aged 13 to 18 and is generally given at the same time as the MenACWY vaccine. For more information about the Teenage Booster (3in1) vaccine, you can visit NHS 111 Wales.
The MenACWY vaccine is offered routinely by GP surgeries to all young people around 13/14 years of age (school year 9) and provides good protection against serious infections caused by four different meningococcal groups (A, C, W and Y) including meningitis and septicaemia. Young people remain eligible to receive the vaccine up to the age of 25. For more information about the MenACWY vaccine, you can visit NHS 111 Wales. It is important that teenagers eligible for these vaccines check they are up to date with their GP practice.
We actively encourage all secondary schools to promote the importance of being up to date with these vaccinations to their pupils.
COMING SOON: Online teaching and learning resources around teenage immunisations are currently being developed and will be available for secondary school teachers and pupils to access.
More useful information and resources can be found on the NHS 111 Wales website.
Secondary school pupils can contact their school nurse via ChatHealth, a confidential SMS text messaging platform to facilitate ease of access to the school nursing service for young people aged 11-19 yrs. School nurses also offer a regular, confidential drop-in service in school, for all pupils, to discuss any health or well-being issues.
School Nurses can also be contacted via the local teams:
Cardiff West: 029 20 907663
Cardiff East: 029 20 734161
Vale of Glamorgan: 01446 732784