NHS organisations across Norfolk and Waveney are calling all parents and carers of preschool children to get them vaccinated against flu.
Children who are aged 2 and 3 years old (age on 31 August before fu vaccinations start in the autumn) will be given the vaccination at their general practice usually by a practice nurse. Children and young people who are eligible and at school will be offered the vaccination in a school setting, with further opportunities to get the vaccine at alternative venues for anyone who miss the opportunity to get vaccinated at school.
Kate Keeling, Associate Director of Immunisation & Health Inclusion, NHS Norfolk and Waveney said:
“It is really important children are vaccinated and protected over the winter. Not only does the flu vaccine help to protect the children themselves, but by reducing the spread of flu it will also help protect family members, and others in the local community.
“All children who are aged 2 and 3 years old (provided they were this age on 31 August before flu vaccinations start in the autumn) can get the vaccine at their GP Practice.”
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 last several days or more.
Some children can get a very high fever, sometimes without the usual fu symptoms, and may need to go to hospital for treatment.
If you are unsure of vaccinating your child there five main reasons to do so:
1. Protect your child – The vaccine will help protect your child against fu and serious complications such as bronchitis and pneumonia
2. Protect you, your family and friends – Vaccinating your child will help protect more vulnerable friends and family
3. No injection needed – The nasal spray is painless and easy to have
4. It’s better than having flu – The nasal spray helps protect against flu, has been given to millions of children worldwide and has an excellent safety record
5. Avoid costs – If your child gets fu, you may have to take time off work or arrange alternative childcare
Preventing the spread of flu
You can help stop yourself catching flu or spreading it to others with good hygiene measures. The young children that you care for should also be encouraged to do the same:
- wash hands regularly with soap and warm water
- use tissues to cover the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
- put used tissues in a bin as soon as possible
Visit www.nhs.uk/child-fu for more information. Talk to your GP, practice nurse, your child’s school nurse or your health visitor if you have any further questions.