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Flu vaccination for children

Why should my child have the flu vaccine?

Flu can be a very unpleasant illness in children causing fever, stuffy nose, dry cough, sore throat, aching muscles and joints, and extreme tiredness. This can last several days or more. Some children can get a very high fever, sometimes without the usual flu symptoms, and may need to go to hospital for treatment. Serious complications of flu include a painful ear infection, acute bronchitis, and pneumonia.

Who will give my child their vaccination?

Children aged two and three years old will be given the vaccination at their general practice usually by the practice nurse. Children in reception class and school years 1, 2, 3 and 4, and all primary school children in former pilot areas, will have the vaccination in school apart from a couple of areas of the country where it will be offered in primary care settings. Children who are home educated will also be offered the vaccine, provided they are in an eligible school age group. Parents can obtain information about arrangements from their local NHS England Public Health Commissioning team. Details can be found at: www.england.nhs.uk/ about/regional-area-teams/

How will the vaccine be given?

For most children it is given as a nasal spray; if your child has recently taken oral steroids it is given as an injection.

Can the vaccine cause flu?

No, the vaccine cannot cause flu because the viruses in it have been weakened to prevent this from happening.

For more information about vaccinating children against flu, please read this leaflet from Public Health England:

Protecting your child against flu

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