Protect your child and others from flu

Published: Friday, December 17, 2021

Parents and carers of children aged 2 to 17 are urged to protect them from the flu virus with the free, painless and completely safe nasal spray flu vaccine.

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The vaccination protects them from what can be a very unpleasant illness for children which can also lead to serious health problems such as bronchitis and pneumonia. Please check flu symptoms here.

Children can easily catch and spread the flu and getting them vaccinated protects others who are vulnerable to flu, such as babies and older people.

The vaccination is free and will be given by a quick, simple and painless spray up the nose. It is available for: 

  • children aged 2 or 3 years on 31 August 2021 – born between 1 September 2017 and 31 August 2019
  • all primary school children (reception to year 6)
  • all year 7 to year 11 children in secondary school
  • children aged 2 to 17 years with long-term health conditions

Parents and carers of two and three-year-olds will need to book their vaccine with their GP. Last year, thousands of children between these ages received their flu vaccine. This year more parents are urged to come forward.

School Age children: Children aged between four and 17 will receive their vaccination at school. Make sure you return the consent form allowing them to have the flu vaccine. If you have missed the consent cut-off date but still want your child to be vaccinated please contact the School Age Immunisation team at hrch.immunisationteammailboxwandsworth@nhs.net

The main flu viruses can change each year so a new nasal spray vaccine has to be given annually. The nasal spray flu vaccine contains small amounts of weakened flu viruses. It does not cause the flu in children and is safe and effective.  The nasal spray vaccine contains small traces of pork gelatine. If this is not suitable, speak to your child's nurse or doctor about your options. Your child may be able to have an injected vaccine instead.

Visit the NHS website for more information on the children’s flu vaccine

Cllr Clare Salier, cabinet member for adult social care and health, said: “The nasal spray vaccine is the best way to protect your child and others he or she could potentially pass the flu virus on to. It’s safe and effective and very easy to take. If your child does have side effects, they are very mild and do not last long.

“With Covid still circulating, it’s important that we take the pressure off the NHS by keeping as healthy as possible. Please do you part and get your child vaccinated.”