Make Your Child Flu Safe With Pain Free Vaccine

NHS Trafford Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is urging parents of children aged two and three, as well as those in reception class school years one to five, to make sure their child has their flu nasal spray vaccine.

The Fluenz needle-free vaccination is an alternative to the traditional injectable flu jab and is given by squirting a single dose up each nostril and is available free on the NHS. The quick, effective and painless nasal spray protects children against many strains of the flu virus and has been used safely and effectively in the USA for over 10 years.

Dr Mark Jarvis, Medical Director at Trafford CCG, said: “Flu can be very unpleasant for little ones and if they get it, they can easily spread it around the whole family. They suffer the same symptoms as adults including fever, chills and aching muscles.  Some children may develop complications such as bronchitis, pneumonia and painful middle ear infection which could need hospital treatment and, in some serious cases, a child may die from flu.

“We know that more than 3 out of 4 people with flu have no symptoms but can still pass it on and that children easily spread germs. Vaccinating your child is the best possible protection against the flu virus and will not only protect them but also help to reduce the chance of flu spreading to others, especially anyone who is vulnerable, such as babies, older people, expectant mums and people with serious long-term illnesses.

“You can make a real difference in helping to stop the spread of flu by saying yes to the vaccination if your child is eligible and encouraging friends and family to do the same.

“Not only is the nasal spray needle-free, it also works even better than the injected flu vaccine with fewer side effects. It’s quick and painless and will mean your child is less likely to become ill if they come into contact with the flu virus.”

If you have a younger child, aged two, three and four, you should have already been contacted by your GP about getting your child vaccinated before winter sets in.

If you have not heard anything, or you want more information about when and how your child will be vaccinated against flu, please talk to your GP, practice nurse or local pharmacist. Children who are home educated will also be offered the vaccine, provided they are in an eligible school age group.

The national drive to encourage eligible people to get their flu vaccination is part of Help Us Help You, a joint national initiative to help the most vulnerable people prepare for winter and avoid having to visit hospital due to common winter illnesses. Reducing flu transmission by children in the community can has been found to help cut the number of GP appointments and unplanned admissions for children and adults, reducing winter pressures on the NHS.