Milton Keynes 0-19 Service

Vaccinations at school

Information for parents and carers

Some routine vaccinations for children and young people are offered free of charge at school and delivered by our Immunisation Team which works closely with our school nurses.

This includes the seasonal flu vaccine for some primary school children and the HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) vaccine for 12-13 year olds in Year 8.

Primary school children: Seasonal flu vaccine

If your child is in primary school, and in Reception Class or Years 1, 2, 3 or 4, they will be offered the seasonal influenza (flu) vaccine during the Autumn Term.

The flu vaccine protects your child against flu and also helps to protect their family and friends, which is especially important if you have more vulnerable elderly family members or your child has younger siblings.

The flu vaccine is given as a single dose of nasal spray which is squirted up each nostril. Not only is it needle-free but the nasal spray is more effective for use in younger children with fewer side effects.

It’s quick and painless and having the vaccine will mean your child is less likely to become ill if they come into contact with the flu virus.

You will be sent more information about the flu vaccine and be given a consent form.

For more information on the flu vaccination, you can visit NHS Choices or speak to your school nurse.

Secondary school children: HPV Vaccine – Beating Cervical Cancer

When young people reach the age of 12 to 13 and are in Year 8 at school, they are offered the HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) vaccine. You will be sent an information pack from our Immunisation Team soon which tells you more information and will include a leaflet and a consent form.

The HPV vaccine protects against cervical cancer.

Key facts:

  • In the UK around 3,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year
  • It is the most common cancer among women under the age 35
  • Cervical cancer is caused by a very common virus called human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Cervical cancer develops in the cervix and is caused by a virus called human papillomavirus
  • The vaccine used is Gardasil and this protects girls against four types of HPV; Type 16 and Type 18, which give a high risk for cervical cancer, and Type 6 and Type 11, which do not cause cervical cancer, but they do cause 90% of genital warts
  • If you choose for your daughter to have the vaccine she will receive two doses by injection. The two doses are given between six and 24 months apart
  • The vaccine is normally given at school
  • The vaccine is not a replacement for safe sex and a healthy lifestyle.

Most people do not have any side effects from the vaccine. If they do they are mild and won’t last very long. These might include:

  • Pain, swelling, redness/bruising or itching in the site where your daughter had the injection
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Dizziness.

If your child has any side-effects that worry you or any of these reactions last more than a few days, you should tell your school nurse or GP.

More information

HPV vaccination question and answer leaflet

Visit NHS Choices 

Visit Jo’s cervical cancer trust website