The NHS is urging parents to get their children vaccinated against flu this year.
Children aged two to three can receive the vaccination at their GP practice. Reception to Year 7 children will receive the vaccine at school.
Children of all ages with a health condition that puts them at greater risk of flu are also eligible for the flu vaccine.
It’s even more important this year, and the NHS is recognising that there are concerns about seasonal colds alongside flu and Covid-19 cases in the local area.
There have been national headlines about access to GP practices, but the NHS in Sussex wants to reassure people that GP practices are open and are providing face to face appointments for those who clinically need them – including to provide flu vaccination clinics.
In addition, as schools have returned guidance has been issued with schools about when children should stay home and when isolation and testing is required, and this should have been shared with parents and carers.
Alongside this protection advice in relation to Covid-19, it is important that children who are eligible for the free flu vaccination are protected this year.
Children can face complications from the flu virus, including ear infections, bronchitis and pneumonia, so some may even need hospital for treatment.
Protecting children can also stop the flu virus spreading to other children and the family, especially babies and grandparents, who may be at higher risk from flu and who may be trying their best to stay well at this current time.
Allison Cannon, Chief Nurse Officer for Sussex NHS commissioners said, “We are urging parents to help us protect your little ones from flu and the vaccination is available free on the NHS.
“The nasal spray vaccination is quick, effective and painless and robust safety rules are being followed wherever and whenever vaccinations take place whether that is at your GP practice or at your child’s school to make sure these are being done safely to every child, parents and staff.
“If you two to three year olds please speak to your GP practice about the arrangements this year and please attend a clinic appointment. If you have children in school years Reception to Year 7 please make sure you sign their consent form receive this through school so they can have the flu vaccine.”