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Young people in Sutherland encouraged to take up routine vaccines offer at school


By David G Scott

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Public Health Scotland is encouraging young people to take up the offer of routine vaccines at school as the latest statistics show a decline in vaccine uptake rates among this group.

In Scotland, a number of vaccines are offered to young people in secondary school to provide them with long-term protection against serious diseases. It’s therefore important young people take up the offer of these vaccines that are routinely offered in school.

The DTP vaccine protects against diphtheria, tetanus, and polio and MenACWY protects against meningitis and septicaemia (blood poisoning). Both are offered to pupils in S3, at around 14 years of age, to complete the childhood vaccination course.

Public Health Scotland encourages young people to take up the offer of routine vaccines at school. Picture: AdobeStock
Public Health Scotland encourages young people to take up the offer of routine vaccines at school. Picture: AdobeStock

Our most recent data also shows that boys were less likely to receive the DTP and MenACWY vaccines than girls. This is also true for the school-based Human papillomavirus (HPV) immunisation programme, which helps to protect young people from HPV-related cancers later in life. This includes head, neck and anogenital cancers with the most common being cervical cancer.

HPV is a common virus which usually produces no symptoms and is usually spread through sexual contact. This means that people may not even know they’re carrying the virus. All S1 pupils are eligible for the HPV vaccine in Scotland and getting the vaccine now protects against future risks.

The DTP, MenACWY and HPV vaccines are offered through vaccination clinics at school. Consent packs consisting of a letter, consent form(s) and leaflet are sent home with young people from school. Consent forms will start to be issued as early as the end of November by some Health Boards with vaccination taking place between January and March next year.

A national campaign, Chat. Sign. Protect., which is focused on encouraging young people to talk to their parents or carers about taking up the offer of these vaccines and signing and returning their forms to school has also been launched.


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