Latest figures from NHS England in Thames Valley and Public Health England reveal that less than half of eligible adults and children still haven’t come forward to have their free flu vaccination
For the first time this year a nasal spray vaccine is available to all two and three year olds as research shows that they are not only vulnerable to flu, they are also one of the largest groups of ‘flu spreaders’. Not only is it needle-free, but it works better than injected vaccination with fewer side effects. Quick and painless, the nasal spray flu vaccine means children are less likely to become ill if they do come into contact with the flu virus.
In most cases flu is a mild illness, it can be very serious for some, including the very young and the elderly. Doctors strongly recommend all 2-3 year olds are vaccinated to protect themselves and stop the disease spreading to their family, friends and the wider population.
Paula Jackson Consultant in Public Health for NHS England in Thames Valley said:
“During winter it is important we protect at-risk groups such as the young by vaccinating them against seasonal flu. Ensuring your child is vaccinated can help prevent them from experiencing this unpleasant and sometimes very serious illness.
“I urge parents and carers to talk to their local GP about the vaccine so that the whole family can enjoy a happy, healthy Christmas this year.
“The flu vaccine is our best defence against the virus and getting children vaccinated is a simple, free step that parents can take to help prevent illness this winter.
“If you think you may have flu please do not go to A&E as you could risk spreading the illness to vulnerable people in hospital. Self-care with over-the-counter remedies is often the best thing to do; making sure you have rest and plenty of fluids. If your symptoms worsen, you should call your local GP”.