Health professionals in Knowsley are reminding the parents of 2 and 3 year olds the importance of making sure their children have their free flu vaccination.
Children are known for spreading coughs and colds, and under-5s are more likely to be hospitalised by flu than any other age group. All children born between 1 September 2016 and 31 August 2018 are eligible for the vaccine this winter. This is a simple nasal spray which is squirted up each nostril.
Parents are asked to contact their GP if they have not yet received an appointment.
This year, helping to protect children against flu is particularly important as COVID-19 is still circulating and people at risk from flu are also vulnerable to the complications of COVID-19.
As well as 2 and 3 year olds, the free flu vaccine is offered to:
- All primary school children in reception class, as well as Year 7 high school pupils.
- Residents aged 65 and over
- Pregnant women
- Residents with long-term medical conditions along with people living in the same household
- People living in long stay residential care homes
- People who are in receipt of a carer’s allowance
- Residents who are the main carer of an older or disabled person
- Carers directly employed by families using Direct Payments
- Those aged 50-64 later in the flu season, depending on availability
Cllr Sean Donnelly, Knowsley’s Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care said: “Flu can be horrible for young children and they can easily pass it on to those around them who could be vulnerable – even if they don’t show any symptoms. The free flu nasal spray is easier to give to children than the injection, is the best way to protect your child and can prevent the spread of the virus. Vaccinating children can protect both them and those around them who are at high risk of serious complications if they get flu.”
If you are eligible for the flu vaccine this winter contact your GP practice or local pharmacist. For more information, visit: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/flu-influenza-vaccine/