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Local children Sofi, Fatima and Hafsa have been crowned winners of this year’s flu fighter story and art competition organised by Bradford District and Craven Health and Care Partnership to raise awareness of the flu virus amongst children.

With nearly 40 artistic nominations submitted from children aged 6 to 11 judges identified three winners. All entries are read and judged anonymously by at least two people.

Children were encouraged to be as creative as they wanted, so long as their drawing or story was about fighting the flu they could create anything their imagination sparked.

‘Sami the Syringe’, drawn by 8-year-old Fatima was awarded first place, with the picture depicting a bright character that’s ready for action to fight those flu bugs this winter.

‘Fluella’ drawn by 7-year-old Sofi came second, shows a colourful superhero that protects people by shooting out flu vaccines from her magic cape and wrapping her cape around people to keep them well.

‘Mr Flu Fighter’ drawn by 10-year-old Hafsa came third, artistically spreading the message about which vaccines people can receive, how to keep safe and not spread flu.

The competition was a creative way to raise awareness about the flu virus and importance of getting vaccinated amongst children and their families. Alongside this competition, the School Immunisation Team have hosted flu vaccination clinics over half term and ran sessions at schools to help parents understand more about the flu vaccination and how to consent for their child to get it.

Yvonne Osborn, School Vaccination and Immunisation Lead at Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust on behalf of Bradford District and Craven Health and Care Partnership, said: “Huge congratulations to the winners of the flu fighter competition! We were blown over by the creativity of children in Bradford District and Craven and it was fantastic to see how many 6-11 year olds understood how to stop the spread of flu.

“Flu can be really nasty and it is not like having a cold, it can have serious complications. Your child can feel very unwell for days resulting in missed school and you needing to time off to look after your child.

“Children can catch and spread flu easily. There is the option to take up the flu vaccination for your child, which protects them and other vulnerable family members, such as babies and older people. If your child is reception to year 11 age, they are eligible for a free flu vaccine. If you have not already consented your child to have the flu vaccine, please contact the school immunisation team on 01274 221269.”

The School Immunisation Team offer the nasal flu spray, if this is not suitable because you do not accept use of porcine gelatine in medical products, a flu vaccine injection is available that contains no gelatine.

Sarah Muckle, Director of Public Health for City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council said; “Every year as winter approaches, cases of flu become more common. It’s often the case that flu is spread to families via school-aged children. The best protection against flu and other seasonal diseases is immunisation, so it’s great that our partners at the NHS are raising awareness of the vaccine through this fun and creative campaign.”