Has your 2, 3 or 4 year old had their flu vaccination?

Parents in Sefton are being urged to get their children vaccinated against flu.

All healthy children aged 2, 3 and 4 are eligible to have free flu vaccinations as part of the Stay Well This Winter campaign.

Pippa Rose, a practice nurse lead for NHS South Sefton clinical commissioning group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “Flu can be far more dangerous than parents realise and of course, when they get it, they tend to spread it around the whole family. Every year, thousands of children get sick and it is not uncommon for them to be admitted to hospital.

“Children with flu are “super spreaders” of the virus, however, children can have a simple nasal spray vaccine that protects them and stops them spreading the flu virus. For children aged 2, 3 and 4 year old, the nasal spray is given at your GP practice. For children aged 5, 6 and 7 years old, they are offered the nasal spray at their school.

“We’re now seeing an increase in flu across the North West and we urge parents to get the free vaccination if they haven’t already done so. It’s not too late.

“Ask your GP about the free flu vaccine for your 2, 3 or 4 year old.”

Flu can be horrible for little children; they have the same symptoms as adults – including fever, chills, aching muscles, headache, stuffy nose, dry cough and sore throat. Some children develop a very high fever or complications of flu, such as bronchitis or pneumonia and may need hospital treatment.

Reducing transmission by children can potentially help cut the number of GP appointments and unplanned admissions for children and adults, reducing winter pressures on the NHS. The programme will be extended gradually to older age groups in primary school in future years.

For more information on the flu vaccine for children please visit: www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/pages/child-flu-vaccine.aspx
And for a full list of who is eligible for a flu vaccine please visit: www.nhs.uk/Conditions/vaccinations/Pages/who-should-have-flu-vaccine.aspx

Still Time For The Flu Jab

Residents across Sefton are still being urged to get the flu jab this winter by Sefton Council and local health commissioners.

The flu vaccination is one of the most effective ways to reduce harm from flu as it
reduces risk of serious illness, hospitalisation and even death among those who are most at risk.

Free flu vaccinations are being offered to all pregnant women, all children aged 2 to 4, residents of all ages with a long term health condition and everyone aged 65 and over. Most people who are eligible can get vaccinated at their local GP practice.

In addition, this year children in school years one, two and three have been offered the flu vaccination and a programme has been carried out across the borough offering the nasal spray.

The flu vaccine for children is given as a single dose of nasal spray squirted up each nostril. Not only is it needle-free (a big advantage for children), the nasal spray works even better than the injected flu vaccine.

It’s quick and painless and means children are less likely to become ill if they come into contact with the flu virus.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Cabinet Member Health and Wellbeing, said: “There is still time for residents to get the flu jab or the nasal spray flu vaccine.

“Flu is a highly contagious illness that spreads rapidly and can be very unpleasant for children and adults alike. Symptoms include fever, chills, aching muscles, headache, stuffy nose, dry cough and sore throat lasting up to a week.

“By having the vaccination it will go a long way to protect yourself against such nasty symptoms.”

Pippa Rose, a practice nurse lead for NHS South Sefton clinical commissioning group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “As well as planning your Christmas shopping, remember to book your flu jab before the colder weather sets in.

“Having a flu jab isn’t just about protecting you from what can be serious effects of the flu but also helps reduce the spread of flu to those around you. We also encourage carers to get protected too.

“It’s really good news that a greater number of children can now benefit from the free vaccine. However, we mustn’t forget that it’s equally important for expectant mums, those aged over 65, or anyone of any age who has diabetes, chest complaints like bronchitis and kidney problems to get their vaccination.

“If you are not sure if you qualify for a free vaccine, just contact your practice and they’ll be happy to offer advice.”

For more information on the flu vaccine for children please visit: www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/pages/child-flu-vaccine.aspx

And for a full list of who is eligible for a flu vaccine please visit: www.nhs.uk/Conditions/vaccinations/Pages/who-should-have-flu-vaccine.aspx