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Meningitis ACWY and diphtheria, tetanus and polio school invite letter

School Age Immunisations Team

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Dear Parent/Guardian

All Year 9 children are being offered Meningococcal ACWY vaccination and Diphtheria/Polio and Tetanus vaccination in school.

Please complete the attached consent form and return it to school 

Meningococcal ACWY vaccination helps to protect your child against four types of meningococcal bacteria (groups A,C,W and Y) that can cause meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain) and septicaemia (blood poisoning). These diseases are very serious and can kill, especially if not diagnosed early. Cases of meningococcal W disease (‘MenW’) in England have increased significantly in recent years, particularly in teenagers and young adults. It is in response to this rise in cases that this vaccine is being given to this age group.

If your child has received the Men ACWY vaccine as a travel vaccine since the age of 10 they do not need an additional booster at this time. Please indicate whether they have received MenACWY as a travel vaccine on the consent form and contact your GP surgery who will be able to confirm the date it was given.

We are also offering the diphtheria/polio/tetanus vaccination (DTP) at the same time as the Men ACWY. The National Childhood Immunisation Programme has meant that dangerous diseases such as tetanus, diphtheria and polio have practically disappeared in this country. It is important that everyone keeps up their vaccinations so that these diseases do not return.  All children need five doses of the tetanus, diphtheria and polio vaccination to build up and maintain immunity. The first three doses should have been given as a baby and the fourth at around four years old. The fifth dose is due now.

With this letter are a consent form and a leaflet about the diseases and the vaccinations, which we hope you will find useful. For further information please see www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations or the Immunisations for Young People NHS booklet. You can also talk to the school nurse, your GP or practice nurse.

  • For these vaccinations to take place we need to make sure we have your consent. To do this please complete the attached consent form and ask your son/daughter to return it to the school so that they may receive the Men ACWY vaccine and/ or the DTP.
  • If you and your son/daughter decide not to accept one or both of these vaccinations, we still need you to complete and return the form to the school telling us about your decision. Please could you give the reasons for this on the back of the form.

It is important for you to discuss and complete the consent form with your child. Please be aware that if we do not receive the completed consent form, each young person will be assessed on an individual basis and invited to self-consent for the vaccination providing they can demonstrate an understanding of the vaccination due. This is in line with the Gillick Competency Framework.

NHS England strongly supports this important vaccination programme to protect against diphtheria, polio, tetanus and the meningococcal ACWY bacteria and recommends them to your son/daughter.

Please complete the Meningitis ACWY and diphtheria, tetanus and polio consent form – even if you do not want your child to receive the vaccinations – and return it to school by the end of this week.

If you have any queries, please contact the Immunisation Team on 01454 868387.

Yours sincerely

Karen Evans

Head of School Nursing (South Gloucestershire) and Specialist Services