Schoolchildren across the country will start to receive the influenza vaccine on Monday as part of Scotland’s biggest ever flu immunisation programme.
All children from the age of two are being offered the vaccination against the viral infection this year.
More than four million people will be offered immunity this year with secondary school students eligible for the first time.
The vaccine is not a jab, instead it is a nasal spray described as “quick and painless”.
Teachers, nursery teachers and support staff in close contact with pupils will also be offered immunisation.
Anyone aged 50 or over is also eligible for the free vaccine as are those who are younger with certain underlying health conditions.
Parents and carers have been urged to return consent forms as soon as possible with the school programme running until December.
Scotland’s deputy chief medical officer Nicola Steedman previously said: “I’d urge all parents and carers to take up the offer of getting the free flu vaccine for their child this year and help stop the spread of flu.
“The vaccine is safe and offers the best protection we have against flu.”
Because of coronavirus restrictions in place last winter, there was less exposure to the flu virus meaning there could be lower immunity in the population, including among young people.
The mass influenza immunisation rollout starts as the government’s vaccine advisers announced they would not recommend the Covid-19 jab for healthy children between 12 and 15-years-old.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) said on Friday that it is widening the currently limited rollout to more children in the age bracket who have underlying health conditions.
But it said governments should seek further advice before making a decision on mass vaccination of children aged between 12 and 15-years-old.
Scottish health secretary Humza Yousaf said he and the other health ministers across the UK had asked their respective chief medical officers (CMOs) to “rapidly explore” the wider impact of the decision.
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