Flu vaccine for children

Children are given the flu vaccine as a nasal spray.
Children are given the flu vaccine as a nasal spray.

Parents of two to five-year-olds in the Borders are encouraged to join the fight against flu this winter, by ensuring their children get their flu vaccination.

GP practices across the NHS Borders area are providing the free nasal flu vaccine to ensure young children are protected. Primary school children will receive their vaccination at school.

By reducing transmission of the virus, particularly to at-risk groups like the elderly, the child flu vaccination programme is expected to eventually prevent an estimated additional 200 deaths per year, and 1,100 hospitalisations from flu.

Chris Faldon, immunisation co-ordinator for NHS Borders, said: “It’s very important that children between the ages of two and five receive the nasal flu vaccine this winter.

“The vaccine is the best defence against flu and not only helps to protect your children, but also helps to reduce the spread of the virus amongst others. Getting the vaccine only takes a few minutes; it’s painless and will help provide protection for up to a year.”

To find out more about the flu vaccine visit immunisationscotland.org.uk/childflu or call NHS Inform on 0800 22 44 88.

Public health minister Aileen Campbell said: “Even the healthiest of children can fall seriously ill from flu so it’s really important they get their vaccine.”