Nine-year-old Kate Cooper Jones created posters with colourful design and included pictures of her dolls and toys under the messages: “To fight the flu we need you!” and “If you get your flu vaccination you save your family.”
Teachers at Kate’s school recognised the importance of her message and the creative flair she had shown in communicating it. The posters were put up at school, letting both children and their parents know they should get the vaccine.
Her message and design have impressed health officials who say it is vital that as many children as possible get vaccinated against flu during winter, so they are protected.
Kate, from Swinton, learnt about the flu vaccination and how it could protect her and her friends against the virus just before vaccinations took place at her school, Plymouth Grove Primary, in Manchester.
She understood that getting protected from flu would not only prevent her from becoming ill but that it would also stop the virus from being passed on to others.
Shortly after, she joined members of her Brownie pack, 1st Swinton, to work towards her Speaking Out Badge.
The badge requires a Brownie to share their opinions, to speak out about something they think is important and try and make a positive change in the world.
Kate was inspired by her new knowledge and instantly decided that the dangers of flu and how they could be avoided was a very important message to spread.
Kate designed her own posters featuring colourful hand drawn images. She said: “I made the posters to look like the ones I’ve seen in my doctor’s surgery”.
As well as the handcrafted posters Kate put some of her toys to good use, photographing a series of eye-catching pictures of dolls carrying banners with inspiring slogans.
Kate then wrote to Manchester Health & Care Commissioning to tell them what she’d done and share her rousing work and ideas.
In her letter, Kate said: “I am writing to tell you that I am campaigning for all children to get their flu vaccination. I know that a lot more children got their nasal spray this year, but it still isn’t enough.”
Speaking about her enthusiasm Kate’s mum Mary said: “It proves we should listen to young people, they should have a voice as they have important things to say.”
Christine Khiroya, nurse consultant, senior screening and immunisation, Greater Manchester, said: “We were thrilled to receive Kate’s artwork. To grasp the importance of vaccination at such a young age is impressive enough but Kate them took it upon herself to share that knowledge.
“Kate’s message is clear, ‘To fight the flu we need you!’ I couldn’t say it better myself.”
The flu vaccination is available every year on the NHS to help protect adults and children at risk of flu and its complications.
The vaccine is provided for free to adults 65 and over, pregnant women, children aged 2 and 3, primary school children and people with serious long-term health conditions.
Speak to your GP surgery to understand if you or your family are eligible for a free flu vaccine because this is the best way to protect yourself and your family against the flu virus.
Primary school pupils are offered a nasal flu vaccination at school, which parents give permission for.