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Your voice on health and social care

NHS England encourages parents across Thames Valley to protect young children from flu this winter


With nursery and school terms well underway, parents and guardians of children aged two and three, are encouraged to get the free flu vaccination for their children at the earliest opportunity.

The child-friendly nasal spray is quick, effective and painless squirt into each nostril.

 In the Thames Valley, all children aged two and three-years-old can visit their GP for the nasal spray vaccination to protect them from getting flu this winter, along with children of all ages who have a health condition that puts them at greater risk of contracting the virus are also eligible for the flu vaccine.

  Flu can be a very unpleasant illness in children causing fever, stuffy nose, dry cough, sore throat, aching muscles and joints, and extreme tiredness. This can often last several days. Some children can get a very high fever, sometimes without the usual flu symptoms, and may need to go to hospital for treatment. Serious complications of flu include a painful ear infection, acute bronchitis, and pneumonia.

Paula Jackson, Consultant in Public Health- Screening and Immunisation Lead for Thames Valley said: “It is important we protect young children from the flu virus this winter and get them vaccinated now. Children can become very poorly if they catch flu and may even need to be admitted to hospital. Protecting children can protect other family members by stopping the spread to others, especially babies and grandparents, who may be at higher risk of complications from flu.”

 It is important to get all children vaccinated even if they had the flu vaccination last year.

If your child is aged two or three please make sure you visit your GP to receive the nasal spray.
If you have children in school year reception and school years one, two, three, and four they are also eligible for the free flu vaccination so please complete the consent form for them to receive the vaccination at school.