Flu is a highly infectious disease and can lead to serious health complications for anyone who gets it. However, there are also certain groups of people who are at particular risk from flu and as a result, are offered a free flu vaccination on the NHS.
The flu vaccination is completely free for pregnant women, children aged 2 and 3 years old, those with underlying health conditions and those aged 65 and over. The vaccination is the best form of protection we have against the unpredictable virus that is flu and it's free for these people because they need it.
Here’s whyyour 2 or 3 year old should get their free flu vaccination spray:
Flu can be particularly nasty for young children, but children also tend to be super-spreaders of germs. This can mean they spread flu round the entire family, including more vulnerable older family members.
When a child is so young and doesn’t understand that they are experiencing the symptoms of flu, it can be particularly distressing for both themselves and for observing parents.
Children develop the same symptoms as adults, including fever, chills, aching muscles, headaches, stuffy nose, dry cough and sore throat. Some children can also develop a very high fever or complications like bronchitis or pneumonia which may need hospital treatment. In fact, children under five years are more likely to be hospitalised due to flu than any other age group.
For most children, the flu vaccine is not usually an injection, just a quick and easy nasal spray. Children aged 2 and 3 receive the vaccine through their GP and children reception and school years 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 receive it in school.
If you are eligible for a free flu vaccination
If your child is eligible for a free flu vaccination this winter, all you need to do is contact your GP practice or local pharmacist.
Don't delay in arranging your child's if are eligible - the flu can strike at any time over the winter months. Remember, it’s free because you need it.