Dear [name of headteacher],
I am a supporter of the campaigning group, Informed Consent Matters, an initiative that promotes the vital legal and ethical importance of informed consent in medicine.
I understand that you, along with every other secondary school in the country, will be offering the nasal flu spray to all of your pupils this coming September.
I harbour grave concerns about this initiative, given the relative risk to healthy children from acquiring the flu is very low, whereas the flu nasal spray can potentially cause a wide array of negative health effects, some of them serious.
I would therefore like to request a copy of the school's risk assessment regarding the mass administering of a risky medical product in a non-clinical environment, with particular emphasis on the controls put in place should a child have an adverse reaction.
Studies have shown the nasal flu spray can cause a child to develop severe, life-threatening respiratory issues that require immediate ICU admission, amongst other potentially serious adverse effects.
As you are aware, schools are not clinical environments, nor are they able to maintain the professional standards of such environments, and that one would expect when administering invasive, risky medical products to children. In the first instance, if a child needs urgent, professional assistance in the face of a medical emergency (such as a severe adverse reaction to the vaccine), schools are not equipped to provide this. Healthcare settings are, which is why, traditionally, children have always received their vaccinations in healthcare settings, rather than school gyms.
In addition, children are also highly liable to become distressed at the prospect of vaccination, and the insertion of a foreign object into their nasal cavity, which is a particularly invasive procedure that could even prove painful if administered without sufficient care (unfortunately, it is well documented that such care is often not taken when things are being inserted into the nose)..
Therefore, children as young as 11 who are to be subject to such potentially distressing processes should be supported by trusted family members, not strangers who are "batch processing" hundreds of other children. This is a potentially highly traumatic experience for a child, especially one who may be dealing with ASD or a similar condition, as many children are.
All these factors - both the physical and emotional risk to children of applying the flu nasal spray in school - should be taken into account in your risk assessment.
A further risk which has been well and extensively documented by studies is the phenomenon of vaccine "shedding", where the flu nasal spray disseminates its particles from the vaccinated child, to others around them who have not been vaccinated.
This phenomenon means parents cannot genuinely give "informed consent" to vaccination in school, because their child may inhale some of the vaccine from shedding classmates, even if that child themselves has not received the vaccination.
This is another reason why vaccines should not be given in schools, but (for families who want them) in controlled clinical settings, where the risk of shedding can be minimised. Giving a shedding vaccine in schools, environments which are known to be "superspreader" environments for communicable infections like headlice, inevitably creates a high-risk situation where communicable aspects of the vaccination could be spread to many others, causing illness in those people.
The flu vaccine is known to cause a wide range of infections and health conditions, including strep A (which swept through schools last year) and the flu itself, with a 2021 study showing 81% of flu cases in children were caused by the flu nasal spray.
As such, I am concerned that administering this vaccine to an additional 3 million children, as the secondary school flu vaccination programme aims to do, has the potential to drive a wave of illness in children that could be declared as another "pandemic", and lead to more of the ruinous "lockdown" policies that so disrupted children's education and lives in 2020 and 2021.
I am sure that you are as keen as I am to avoid that fate, so please consider very carefully whether you wish to administer the flu vaccine in your school (rather than letting families arrange for their children to receive this vaccine in the appropriate medical setting should they wish), and please also, as I have requested, furnish me with a copy of your full risk assessment should you decide to proceed with administering the flu vaccine in your school.
As a member of the community, I am concerned for both the children at your school who may receive this vaccine, and the wider public (including vulnerable groups), who may be adversely affected by this vaccine and its ability to "shed" and cause illness - an illness that may potentially be declared by government officials as another "pandemic" (please note that the then-UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson declared in 2022 that if a wave of illness that specifically affected children ever emerged, another lockdown would likely be introduced).
It is incumbent on you, as a headteacher with safeguarding and pastoral responsibilities to the children in your care, to ensure their optimal safety whilst they are at your school, and not to expose them to avoidable and unnecessary risks.
It is the contention of myself and the Informed Consent Matters campaigning group that the flu nasal spray being administered in schools is an avoidable and unnecessary risk. If you cannot prove otherwise with a comprehensive risk assessment that takes into account all the evidence (not merely "cherry-picked" evidence that may confirm existing bias), then we will conclude that you are derelict in your obligations to optimally safeguard children, and we will therefore respond to this situation accordingly.
Thank you for your time.