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Help protect your child from flu this winter - it's safe, free and painless

As it starts to get colder and with winter on its way, coughs, colds and flu are already starting to circulate, and NHS Nottingham CCG is advising parents of children between the ages of two and seven to make sure their child has their flu nasal vaccination.

The nasal spray vaccination is available free on the NHS. It’s quick, effective and painless and available to children aged 2-4 years, as well as those in school years one and two. The vaccination is given by squirting a single dose of nasal spray up each nostril. Not only is it needle-free, it works even better than the injected flu vaccine with fewer side effects.

It’s important to protect your children from flu. The vaccination is the best protection against what is an unpredictable virus. It can cause severe illness and can even be fatal amongst those with a long term health condition, or the elderly. The vaccine will protect your child, and those they come into contact with, against the flu virus.

Dr Safiy Karim, Clinical Lead at NHS Nottingham City Clinical Commissioning Group and a Locum GP at The Forest Practice, said: “Flu can be an unpleasant experience for children. They suffer same symptoms as adults including fever, chills and aching muscles. Some children may even develop complications such as bronchitis and pneumonia.

“Flu is highly contagious particularly when children are in close proximity with each other especially in school classrooms. Flu is an air-born virus and easily spreads when children inhale droplets from the action of coughing or sneezing from an infected person. The spread of germs can also be limited by simply washing their hands properly and often. Vaccinating your child will not only protect them but also help to reduce the chance of flu spreading to others, especially amongst the vulnerable, such as babies, older people, pregnant women and people with serious long-term illnesses. Primary school pilots using the vaccine have proved very effective in preventing the spread of flu in the wider community.”

GP surgeries are currently contacting parents about getting children vaccinated before the winter. If you don’t hear anything or you want more information about when and how your child will be vaccinated against flu, talk to your GP or practice nurse.

Children in school years one and two will be offered flu vaccination as part of the NHS childhood vaccination programme.

For more information about vaccines and the alternatives that may be available, visit:

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Published: 4 November 2015