How the annual nasal flu vaccine helps your child
The annual flu vaccine can help reduce your child's risk of getting flu over the winter months. It's important to protect your child because:
children are two to three times more likely to catch flu than adults
children under five are more likely to be admitted to hospital with flu than any other age group
when children get flu, their symptoms are more severe, last longer and can lead to complications
children remain infectious for longer and are more likely to pass flu to their family and carers
The nasal flu vaccine for children is:
safe and very effective
given as a single dose gently squirted up each nostril
quick and painless as there's no injection involved (children say it tickles)
given annually to protect against the virus strains expected to be circulating that winter
How to get the vaccine for your child
The flu vaccine is recommended for the following children:
Nursery / pre-school children (aged 2, 3 and 4 years old)
To make it easier for parents to get their child vaccinated, this year, nursery / pre-school children aged two, three and four were offered the flu vaccine either at their nursery or at their GP surgery during October and November.
Primary school age children (age 4 to 11 years old)
This year, the nasal flu vaccine was offered to all primary school children during October and November.
If your child didn't have the vaccine and you want them to be protected
As of 19 January 2018, limited stocks of the nasal flu vaccine are available in GP surgeries. Any available nasal vaccine on the island will expire after 29 January 2018.
GP's will be offering the nasal vaccine on a first come first served basis for those aged 2 to 11 years. If you didn't take up the offer of flu vaccine in the autumn for your child, but you now wish to protect them, you should contact your surgery. You will not be charged for the visit.
The nasal flu vaccine can't be given to children under two years.
Children with a long-term medical condition
We recommend the flu vaccine for children with any of the following long-term medical conditions:
- chronic respiratory disease or asthma that requires continuous or repeated use of inhaled or systemic steroids
- chronic heart disease
- chronic kidney disease
- chronic liver disease
- chronic neurological disease
- a suppressed immune system due to disease or treatment like chemotherapy
- Asplenia or spleen dysfunction
- a BMI of more than 40
There is no flu vaccine available for children under 6 months.
Nasal flu vaccine safety
The nasal flu vaccine is very safe and effective and has been given to millions of children across the world over the past decade.