Dorset School Age Immunisation Service
Our School Age Immunisation Service (SAIS) is the primary provider in the local area of immunisations to all school age children, including those that are home educated and in special education schools.
We provide vaccinations for Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio (Td/IPV), Meningitis ACWY (MenACWY) and influenza (flu).
Sessions take place in schools and community venues, ensuring all children have access to the service.
We have two teams, one covering the east of the county (Bournemouth, Christchurch, Poole, East Dorset and Purbeck), and the other covering the west of the county (North Dorset, West Dorset, Weymouth, Portland and Dorchester).
Our nurses have expert knowledge in school age immunisations and the Dorset school age community, which enables us to deliver a high quality, responsive service across the county.
Our SAIS work closely with the School Nursing teams as well as schools and other local partners to support parents, carers and all eligible children and young people to access immunisation opportunities to improve their chances of remaining healthy and to safeguard the public health of the population.1
Update Dec 2021: flu immunisations in schools
Our School Age Immunisation Service (SAIS) has been delivering the flu programme in schools across Dorset since October. The school flu vaccination programme has been extended to cover extra age groups this year and, as previously, will run through to January.
The SAIS team work closely with schools to ensure dates are agreed in advance. However, this year is like no other and, due to pressures across all our vaccination programmes and within the workforce, there have been some cancellations. Nonetheless, all schools are scheduled to be visited for vaccinations by the end of January.
We are contacting parents with further information following cancelled sessions, and many have already been invited to additional clinics we are running to offer quicker access. We appreciate cancellations are frustrating, and thank parents and schools for their support and patience.
We encourage all parents to give consent for their child to have the flu immunisation. Children can catch and spread flu easily and the vaccine helps to protect them against the virus. It also reduces the chance of transmission to others in their family who could be at greater risk, such as babies, grandparents or those with long term health conditions. This is particularly important this year with COVID-19 still in circulation.1
12-15 years old
The NHS is offering the COVID-19 vaccination to children and young people. This includes those aged 12 to 15.
5-11 years old
If you have any questions regarding the vaccination for your child, please call our team on the immunisation enquiry line - 01425 891162 or complete the enquiry form.
Influenza (flu - nasal and injection for those children who cannot have the nasal vaccine)
Ended 6 February 2022. It was for all children in school and home-educated in year groups Reception to Year 11 and all children in special education schools.
Tetanus/Diphtheria/Polio (TdIPV) and Meningitis ACWY (MenACWY)
Started in January 2022 for all children in Year 10, and for Year 11 children who have not received these vaccinations previously.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
Expected to start April 2022 for all children in Year 8 (first dose) and Years 9 to 11 (second dose)
If your child is absent from school on the day of the immunisation, you will be emailed a link to arrange an immunisation appointment in a local community venue.
To ensure your child is vaccinated you are required to give consent.
Our service works on a digital consent process. This enables parents, carers and guardians to give consent on any device, including a smart phone.
Going digital allows us to send reminders and inform you by email once your child has been vaccinated. You may receive this from our partner, Inhealthcare Technology. If you have any query about these please contact the School Age Immunisation Service as Inhealthcare are unable to respond to queries direct from service users. All e-mails will still include Dorset HealthCare branding so that you can be sure they are genuine, except the initial verification email.
For parents who do not have access to the internet, the service will be able to complete the consent form over the telephone with the person who has parental responsibility.
N.B. We are still working with a paper based consent form to catch up the 2019/2020 HPV cohort who have missed their vaccine due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
All the information you need will be given to you by your child’s school through their normal communication methods
For children who do not attend school, a letter or email will be sent to the person who has parental responsibility to complete the on line digital consent process and book an immunisation appointment in a local community venue.
If you have any problems with providing online consent, get in touch via our enquiry form.
If you have received your offer letter and want to register your child or young person for a vaccination click here to find out more and provide consent.
Immunisations are a very important part of maintaining health, not just for children but also for the entire population.
The flu vaccine can protect children against the strains of seasonal influenza.
With COVID-19 in circulation, having the flu vaccine is more important than ever to help reduce the number of those becoming ill with flu this winter to help protect them and the NHS.
Symptoms of flu include fever, chills, aching muscles, headache, stuffy nose, dry cough and a sore throat, which can be easily caught in a school environment. Being vaccinated against flu can also lessen the risk of some of our older, frail and at risk adults catching the virus.
The flu vaccine is offered to all children from reception to year 11 and all children in special education schools up to 18.
The vaccine is given as a single spray squirted up each nostril. Not only is it needle-free – a big advantage for children – the nasal spray is quick and painless. The vaccine is absorbed very quickly. It will still work even if, after the vaccination, your child develops a runny nose, sneezes or blows their nose.
For children who are unable to have the nasal spray, we are able to offer the injectable vaccine this year.
For more inforamation read the relevant NHS leaflet below:
The TdIPV vaccine, also known as the 3-in-1 teenage booster is given to increase protection against three diseases – tetanus, diphtheria and polio.
It’s given to children in year 10 as a single injection into the muscle of the upper arm.
Meningitis ACWY (MenACWY)
The MenACWY vaccine protects against four common groups of meningococcal disease – MenA, MenC, MenW and MenY. The disease is rare but life-threatening and caused by meningococcal bacteria.
It’s given to children in school year’s 9 or 10 (aged 13-15 years) in the upper arm.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
The HPV vaccine helps protect against human papillomavirus (HPV). This virus increases the risk of developing some cancers later in life, such as: cervical cancer, some mouth and throat cancers and some cancers of the anus and genital areas.
The HPV vaccine has been offered to all girls in school year 8 for over ten years. Since 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.
It is given in the arm and children need two doses to be fully protected. The first injection is given in year 8 and the second one usually 6 to 12 months later when they are in year 9
Dorset HealthCare will automatically contact and send email communication in connection with our immunisation service to one parent or guardian only. This will be to the parent that has identified themselves as the main point of contact or where they have been identified to the Trust as the parent or guardian with parental responsibility on a child’s medical record.
The Trust cannot copy other parents or guardians into any communication about their child’s immunisation as a matter of routine. Where custody or parental responsibility is decided by a court or in the process of being decided by a court the Trust will rely on the judgement or direction of the court or responsible Local Authority where the child is a Looked After Child under local authority.