Parents encouraged to take up offer of free flu vaccinations for their children

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Parents of children aged two and three are being encouraged to take up the offer of a free flu vaccine for their child.

Thousands of primary-age children are also being offered their annual flu vaccination ahead of the winter season in schools up and down the county.

For younger children aged between two and three, the vaccine comes in the form of a nasal spray from their GP and takes only a few minutes to administer.

Pregnant women, people aged 65 and over and adults with underlying health conditions are also being encouraged to take up the offer of a free vaccination.

Health experts say that flu can be nasty for little children, so it is important to protect them from becoming unwell. Children are also ‘super-spreaders’ of flu and vaccinating them can protect more vulnerable members of the community.

Alan White, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Health, Care and Wellbeing, said: “Each year in England around 20,000 children under the age of 5 are admitted to hospital with flu. It can be a very unpleasant illness in children because their immune systems are not fully developed and they suffer the same symptoms as adults.

“The flu vaccine will help protect them against the illness, as well as stopping them spreading flu to vulnerable friends and relatives. Flu can be serious and even deadly for older adults, very young children, and people with underlying health conditions.

“The vaccine is the best defence we have against what can be a serious illness. If your child is entitled to a free flu vaccine, make sure you get them vaccinated.”