Parents in Fife are being urged to return consent forms for their children to get vaccinated against flu.
Forms are being distributed through primary and secondary schools in Fife.
Secondary school pupils will join all primary school children in Scotland in being eligible for this year’s flu vaccine, given to most as a painless nasal spray at school.
Health chiefs in the kingdom have warned immunity to flu could be lower this year due to lower levels of the virus circulating during the coronavirus pandemic.
NHS Fife says consent packs containing a letter, leaflet and form are being sent home to parents and carers of primary school children.
The health board says the forms should be returned within seven days.
Secondary school pupils will be able to self-consent, though they are encouraged to speak to a parent or carer about the decision first.
It comes after the flu vaccine programme was extended to include more people than ever in Scotland.
Dr Esther Curnock, deputy director of public health at NHS Fife, said: “Flu is serious and can result in even healthy children and teenagers ending up in hospital.
Flu immunity in Fife lower than usual this year
“This winter, our immunity may be lower than usual due to lower levels of the flu virus circulating last year while the crucial public health measures were in place.
“Getting the flu vaccine nasal spray is the best way to protect your child and those around them, and will help prevent the flu virus putting extra strain on NHS Fife services this winter.”
Dr Curnock says it is crucial that parents return consent forms in time, and is urging anyone with concerns to speak to a health or immunisation team or their GP.
Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “Flu can be extremely serious and is very infectious.
Flu vaccine ‘protects NHS’
“With Covid-19 still circulating in the community we can best protect the people of Scotland by encouraging everyone eligible to get vaccinated against flu too.
“That’s why this flu season, we are extending the vaccination programme and offering the flu vaccine to around four million people in Scotland, including all primary and secondary school children.
“This will help to protect those most at risk as well as ease pressure on our National Health Service and social care services.
“The vaccines are safe and the best way to help protect you, and others, from flu this winter.”