Immunisation

Improving the uptake of childhood, teenage and adult immunisation is important to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

For information on the Covid-19 vaccination programme, see our dedicated Covid-19 vaccination page.

Flu vaccination for children 

 

Flu can be very serious, causing thousands of hospitalisations and hundreds of deaths in the UK every winter. Vaccinating children against flu protects them and the community because children can spread flu easily. Due to the ongoing spread of Covid-19 and the pressures that are likely to be placed on the NHS this year the flu vaccination programme has been expanded to include all children aged 2 to 16.

Most children will be given a nasal spray vaccine as it’s quick, painless and more effective than an injected vaccine when it comes to preventing the virus spreading to others. This won’t be suitable for all children since it contains a very small amount of porcine gelatine, which is why an alternative injectable vaccine, containing no pork or other animal products, will also be available. 

Parents of school children will receive a consent form from their child’s school. Vaccination will take place at school between October and December, with community catch-up clinics offered in the new year for anyone who missed their slot. Pre-school children will be invited for a vaccination at their GP surgery. 

The table shows where the vaccinations will take place: 

Schedule
Age groupWhere to get vaccinated

From 6 months until 2 years (with long-term conditions) 

GP surgery

From 2 years until child starts primary school

GP surgery

All children at primary school

School

All year 7-11 school children

School

Children aged 12 to 17 years (with long-term condition) 

GP surgery

Home-schooled children (aged 4 to 11 years) 

Community clinic

All pregnant women

Maternity services, GP surgery or pharmacy

Work we are doing locally on childhood immunisations

 

The Tower Hamlets Public Health Team monitors all of the immunisation programmes delivered locally and works with key stakeholders to develop and promote initiatives to improve services.  

Some initiatives have included: 

  • running workshops for parents in the community to promote specific vaccinations

  • a short film on YouTube to promote the MMR for Somali community with English subtitles

  • working closely with GP practice teams and providing regular reports to indicate how well they are performing

  • running a key stakeholder meeting to monitor and oversee delivery of this public health programme.

Services

There are a range of vaccination programmes in the national schedule which are delivered in Tower Hamlets:

  • 0- to 5-year-olds – preventing a range of diseases including Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Meningitis, Pneumonia, Rotavirus, Diphtheria, Tetanus, Whooping cough, TB, Polio and Hepatitis B
  • 12- to 13-year-old girls – HPV vaccination to prevent cervical cancer in adulthood
  • 14 - to 15-year-olds – school leavers’ booster to provide further protection from diphtheria /polio and whooping cough (given at secondary schools) and Men ACWY vaccination to prevent Meningitis
  • Pregnant women – who receive the pertussis vaccination to prevent new born infants from contracting whooping cough
  • Over 65yrs, pregnant women and those under 65 with specific medical conditions who receive the seasonal flu vaccination (September to January each year)
  • Pneumococcal vaccination for over 65 years and those under 65 years with chronic health conditions
  • Shingles vaccination for all those reaching 70 years together with a catch-up programme for those in their 70’s

Useful external links