Explaining their decision in a letter to parents this November, the headteacher of Avanti Gardens School, said: "The use of pork gelatine in several of the vaccines used by the NHS is an issue for the MAT Board given the faith designation of many of AST's (Avanti Schools Trust) schools."
Porcine gelatine is an essential stabiliser in the Fluenz and Tetra nasal sprays used for children's flu vaccines.
The School Age Immunisation Services (SAIS) are responsible for delivering vaccinations, including for the flu and Covid-19, to children in this age range.
In 151 out of 152 local authorities in England, SAIS is delivered primarily through schools. Pupils in unregistered schools and schools that refuse to engage with the programme are particularly vulnerable to missing out. This disproportionately affects pupils from minority, particularly Jewish and Muslim, backgrounds.
The National Secular Society has urged the Department for Education to ensure that all pupils have equal access to in-school vaccination. In recent correspondence with DfE the NSS asked what steps are being taken to ensure delivery of vaccination and immunisation programmes in schools are not hampered by religious objections.
Continue reading @ National Secular Society.