Parents urged to protect babies and children from flu

Parents in Dudley have been urged to make sure their children are protected from flu after the virus hit the borough earlier than usual this year.

Parents of children in Reception to Year Nine can now complete online consent forms for their children to receive the flu vaccination in school. This safe and effective vaccine is delivered via nasal spray, not a needle.

Two and three-year-olds are also eligible for the nasal spray, as well as children with some long-term health conditions. These vaccinations will be given at their local GP surgery. Parents are urged to contact their GP as soon as possible to book an appointment.

The vaccination is also available by injection if parents do not wish their child to have the nasal spray, or if children are unable to have it for medical reasons, for instance if they have a suppressed immune system or severe egg allergy.

The number of pregnant women who have been vaccinated against flu has also fallen compared to last year’s statistics. Pregnant women should speak to their GP, maternity service provider or pharmacy about flu vaccination as soon as possible. The flu vaccine can be given safely throughout pregnancy. Councillor Ian Bevan, cabinet member for public health, said:

"It’s very important for young children to be vaccinated against flu this year as they have not had chance to build up their natural immunity.

"Vaccination will keep them safe and also help to stop the flu virus from spreading to their more vulnerable relatives. The vaccine is being offered to children in the form of a quick and painless nasal spray.

"I would also like to encourage all pregnant women to come forward for their flu vaccination as soon as possible. They are one of the most at-risk groups and flu can have serious consequences for their unborn babies."

For more information on flu, visit Let’s Get Healthy Dudley.


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