Many of our school clients have received letters in the past few days threatening legal action against those who allow their premises to be used for vaccinations of students.
The government have advised that 12 to 15 year olds will be offered a single vaccination which will be administered by the School Age Immunisation Service (SAIS) to pupils on school premises. Guidance issued on 15 September suggests;
- SAIS will deal with all aspects of obtaining consent from parents and in some cases older children. They will provide a consent form and information leaflet to parents for consent. This will contain a SAIS contact number for parental enquiries.
- Schools may be asked by SAIS to share leaflets and letters with parents, signposting and collect consents from some parents.
- Legal accountability for administering vaccinations will be with SAIS and not with schools.
- Schools will be asked to provide information to SAIS on those children eligible for the vaccine.
- Schools are discouraged from engaging with pressure groups other than to acknowledge receipt of letters where a response is needed.
Schools allowing their premises to be used for vaccinations will need to make sure that these activities are risk assessed in the same way as other events on school property are dealt with. This will include risks associated with the use of the premises, security and ensuring the safety of those people at the school. However the responsibility for ensuring consents are obtained and vaccinations are carried out safely will lie with the SAIS team.
We suggest that schools do not engage directly with the author of any letter it receives alleging the school has responsibilities which extend beyond those stated in the guidance. Schools should liaise with SAIS to discuss how vaccinations will take place at the school and what steps will be needed in advance.