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Flu vaccination delayed over Muslim pork concerns

Part of a pilot programme to vaccinate schoolchildren in Scotland against flu has been delayed over concerns from the Muslim community that it contains traces of pork, the BBC reports.

Pupils in Scotland can opt for an injected vaccine which contains no gelatine Credit: Bodo Marks/DPA/Press Association Images

Pupils at 100,000 primary schools are being offered the Fluenz vaccine as a nasal spray, but parents have raised concerns that the spray contains gelatine which is derived from pork.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, whose area contains most of Scotland's Muslims, said it had put back the rollout of the vaccinations "following concerns raised by a small number of parents".

Scottish health minister Michael Matheson said an investigation including Muslim scholars had concluded that the sprays could be used, but added that anyone with concerns could opt for a standard jab.

Dr Hilary: Vaccinations are 'good protection for future'

A mass immunisation programme that will provide jabs free of charge for a range of diseases affecting the young and old will be introduced this year by the Department of Health.

Speaking to Daybreak, Dr Hilary said: "These are vaccinations which have been used in different parts of the world, proven their safety record and offers really good protection for the future."

Vaccinations to target common cause of diarrhoea in kids

The Department of Health has today announced that the planned rotavirus vaccination programme will start in July.

All babies aged between two and four months will be vaccinated against a highly infectious bug that is one of the most common causes of diarrhoea in children.

At present, almost every child will have had the viral infection by the age of five. It is the most common cause of gastroenteritis in infants and very young children.

Dr Mary Ramsay, head of immunisation at Public Health England, said that the oral vaccine is "very easy to administer" to young babies and that it has already been very effective in the US and parts of Europe.

Read: Health Department launches mass vaccination drive

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