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 being offered to 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 can get the flu vaccine either at their nursery or at their GP surgery.
A doctor or nurse will attend your child's nursery during October or November to administer the nasal flu vaccine. Speak to your child's nursery to find out what date this will happen. You'll need to complete a consent form. You won't be charged.
You can go to your GP surgery to have the vaccine if your child doesn't attend nursery or isn't present on the day the Doctor / Nurse is visiting. Contact your child's surgery to make an appointment. You won't be charged.
2, 3 and 4 year olds
|At your child's nursery or at their GP surgery||During October / November||In September, we'll write to parents / guardians of all children born between 1 September 2013 to 15 October 2015 registered with a Jersey GP. |
If you don't receive a letter, but your child is age 2, 3 or 4 years, it may be that we don't have your up to date address. Your child should still have the vaccine so speak to your child's nursery or make an appointment with your GP.
The nasal flu vaccine can't be given to children under two years.
Primary school age children (age 4 to 11 years old)
This year, the nasal flu vaccine will be offered to all primary school children:
Reception to year six (aged 4 to 11)
|In primary school given by nurses||Nurses will be offering flu vaccines from the end of October through to mid November||You'll receive a letter from your child's school advising when the school nurses will in your child's school|
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
All children aged two to 11 years will be routinely offered flu nasal vaccination in nursery or school.
If your child has a long-term medical condition and they're aged either 6 months up to two years or 11 to 17 years, you'll need to contact their GP surgery to book a flu vaccination. You won't be charged.
There is no flu vaccine available for children under 6 months.
If you have a secondary school aged child who doesn't have a long-term medical condition, the flu vaccine is not routinely recommended. Speak to your doctor if you want them to have it privately.
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.
Children can’t get flu from the nasal vaccine. There are very few side effects. Some children may have a runny nose for a short time after having the nasal spray vaccine.
The nasal vaccine brand used is Fluenz. A link to the Fluenz patient information leaflet is on the Medicines.org website.
Flu vaccine for children on the NHS choices website
If you have any questions about the flu vaccine:
for nursery / pre-school age children and children with long-term medical conditions, talk to your GP
for school age children, contact the Immunisation Nurse Specialist on +44 (0) 1534 445790 or send an email
Email the Immunisation Nurse Specialist