NHS Lothian encourages young people to come forward for vaccinations
As the Teenage Boosters Programme was cancelled in 2021 due to school closures, vaccinations are being offered to both S3 and S4 this year.
Every year, pupils in S3 are offered the Teenage Booster to complete their lifelong protection through routine immunisations against diseases such as Tetanus, Diphtheria and Polio. In addition to the Teenage Booster vaccination, all S3 pupils are recommended a Meningitis ACWY vaccination which protects against several strains of meningitis, which can be deadly. The vaccination offer is also being made to older pupils who have not yet been immunised.
Vaccine consent packs which include a letter, leaflet and consent form have been sent out and NHS Lothian is encouraging young people to discuss the pack carefully with their parent or carer and sign and return their consent form to their school.
Consent packs have also been sent out for older pupils who have not yet received their vaccinations.
Dr Lorna Willocks, consultant in public health and immunisation co-ordinator, NHS Lothian, said: “We are delighted that the teenage boosters programme is being offered to both S3 and S4 students this year.
“We would encourage young people to discuss their vaccine consent pack with their parent or carer and return these forms to their school as soon as possible in order to protect themselves against a range of serious diseases.”
Although NHS Lothian recommends that young people discuss with a parent or carer before getting a vaccine, young people may also be able to consent themselves. A young person under 16-years-old can give consent if they can understand what is involved and can decide things for themselves.
The person administering the vaccine will decide if a young person can give their own consent by checking that they fully understand the risks and benefits of vaccination.
Dr Willocks added: “We recognise that young people, their parents and carers may have questions regarding the teenage vaccination programme and we would encourage them to visit the pages on NHS Inform where there is a range of information available.
“Alongside this, our vaccinators are on hand to answer any questions young people may have when they attend their vaccination appointment.
“Vaccination remains critically important for young people against potentially life-threatening diseases, and we hope that many more young people will receive their vaccines as soon as possible.”
For pupils who wish to be vaccinated but were not able to be vaccinated at their school session, there is opportunity to be vaccinated at community clinics throughout the Lothians. To make an appointment slot, please call 0131 446 4082.