There’s no ‘just’ about the flu. This serious illness kills around 11,000 people each year and hospitalizes thousands more. Children can have the same symptoms as adults and can easily pass it on to those around them who could be vulnerable – even if they don’t show any symptoms – so it’s important to make sure little ones have their flu vaccination to help them stay well this winter.
Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust’s Schools Immunisation team is already on its rounds working to vaccinate children in schools across Bradford, Airedale, Wharfedale, Craven and Wakefield. Immunisation Operational Lead Saiqa Kauser explains why it is important for your child to have their flu vaccine:
“Flu can be horrible for little children, causing symptoms like fever, chills, aching muscles, headache, stuffy nose, dry cough and sore throat. For children with long term conditions like diabetes or asthma, it can potentially bring serious complications such as bronchitis and pneumonia. And with the NHS having COVID-19 to deal with as well this year, it’s particularly important for children to be vaccinated.”
The nasal flu spray is the most effective way of protecting your child and those around them from flu. Whilst it can’t stop all flu viruses, if a child does get flu after the vaccination it is likely to be milder and they will recover more quickly.
This is the recommended vaccine for all eligible children in primary schools, from reception through years 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, as well as year 7 in upper schools from this year. Parents simply need to complete and send back the consent form to school so their child can receive the free vaccine.
Children in those age groups who are not in education will also be offered the vaccine by the immunisation team through community-based clinics. Younger children aged two and three, are also offered a free nasal spray vaccine via their GP practice.
Saiqa says: “This year more than ever we need you to ‘Help Us Help You’! Send your consent form back to school so your children can be vaccinated. You can be assured that social distancing and safety measures are in place in schools to prevent the spread of COVID-19 when giving the vaccine.
“And take a look at our ‘stay well’ information for the winter months – including a short film on protecting you and your child against flu.”