REMINDER – HOME ED KIDS AND THE FLU VACCINE (and other vaccinations you might not know about)

Reminder - Home Ed Kids and the Flu Vaccine

It’s that time again – the latest flu vaccine is available for children from 2 to 16 years old and all school age children will be offered it within school.

However, most home educators don’t get that sort of direct reminder. So here is one from us – 

If you want to have your children vaccinated against the likeliest strains of flu this winter, ring up your GP and book an appointment to get them vaccinated.

In my experience there may be some mild surprise when you book them in, (and a reminder that they should get it at school,) and probably the same surprise when you turn up at the surgery with your school age children. But you are home educating, and your local GP surgery nurse is the closest thing you have to a school nurse. And given that GP surgeries are where 2-3 year olds are getting their flu vaccinations, that is where home educated children can be vaccinated too.

Important note for 2021 – due to ‘lack of drivers’ *cough*brexit*cough* there is a delay on flu vaccine distribution in the UK this autumn. My local GP surgery in Oxford said they are expecting delivery of their child flu vaccines in the next few weeks, and to wait a few weeks before contacting them to make an appointment. With this in mind, please check your local GP website and where necessary set a reminder to contact them later if you can’t make an appointment now.

Getting vaccinated for flu is a great way to support the NHS this winter, as it will take pressure off already stretched NHS services and help to limit the number of people who getting sick with both covid and flu at the same time.

You can find out more information from the NHS website page on flu vaccines for children.

HPV Vaccine for Year 8 students

If your child would be in Year 8 (ie. are 12-13 years old) then they can also have the HPV vaccine regardless of what gender they are. (HPV was only given to girls until 2018.) The HPV vaccine protects people from a number of HPV viruses that are linked to a variety of cancers.

While this vaccine is usually given in schools, you can ask for it through your GP. (GP’s surgeries give this vaccine to people up to the age of 25 who missed out on it at school for whatever reason.)

You can read more about the HPV vaccine on the NHS website here.

The 3 in 1 Teenage Booster and Vaccine for Meningitis and Septicaemia for Year 9 students

Year 9 students are given a 3 in 1 shot to boost their protection from tetanus, diphtheria and polio. It is usual given alongside the MenACWY vaccine which protects them from Meningitis and Septicaemia.

As with the other vaccines, these can be given to home educated teenagers via their GP.

You can find more information about these vaccines on the NHS website here: 3 in 1 booster, and here: MenACWY

The Covid Vaccine

I am writing this on the 5th September, and right now the current official guidelines for young people and the Covid Vaccine is that 16-18 year olds are eligible for their first shot and are being contacted via their GP, or can use a walk in clinic. They currently can’t book a vaccine appointment online.

Children aged 12-15 who live with someone who is at high risk or who are high risk themselves are also eligible for the vaccine, and will be contacted via their GP. You can find more info here.

There is an ongoing discussion about whether 12 – 15-year-olds will be offered the Covid vaccine. Once there is a decision made about that, I will update this post.

And in conclusion…

As ever, any anti-vaccination comments will be deleted on any or all of our social media accounts. This is not an invitation to debate. HomeEdVoices supports autistic people and the people who love them, and anyone with compromised immunity.

Also, if you are interested in the story of Andrew Wakefield and the ‘MMR causes Autism’ scandal, I can highly recommend Hbomberguy’s Vaccines: A Measured Response, which is an entertaining and thorough look at the whole thing. There are 10 (ten!) pages of citations. (There are also content warning in the middle that are worth taking seriously.)

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