Skip to main content Skip to accessibility
This website is not compatible with your web browser. You should install a newer browser. If you live in Jersey and need help upgrading call the States of Jersey web team on 440099.
Government of

Information and public services for the Island of Jersey

L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

  • Choose the service you want to log in to:


    Update your notification preferences


    Access government services


    Clear goods through customs or claim relief

  • Talentlink

    View or update your States of Jersey job application

Final chance for Island children to get flu vaccine

18 January 2018

Image of heart and hands

An extra delivery of the children’s nasal flu vaccine has been secured by the Health and Social Services Department (HSSD).

This is available in GP surgeries for children aged 2-11. The newly delivered stock has an expiry date of 29 January, so parents should contact their surgery as soon as possible if they want their child to be vaccinated. No further stock of the nasal flu vaccine will be available after this date.

Adequate stocks of the flu vaccine injection for adults are still available at GP surgeries and in local pharmacies in Jersey. This is recommended for people who are over 65, pregnant or have long-term medical conditions.

The latest flu outbreak in the UK is adversely affecting many NHS services, however, HSSD has reported a greater number of Islanders protected against flu this winter (compared with the 2016/17) with over 24,000 having received a flu vaccination. Of these, 59% of people aged 65 or over took up the offer of vaccination (up from 50% last winter). For adults with a long-term medical condition, such as diabetes, heart, lung, liver or kidney disease, 35% have been vaccinated (up from 24% last year). The new service enabling adults the choice of having a flu vaccination at their local pharmacy has proved popular, with 3,500 adults taking this option.

Head of Preventive Programmes, Dr Linda Diggle, said "The flu vaccine is the best protection we have, but because flu strains change, vaccination needs to be done every year. We are fortunate to have a more comprehensive flu vaccination programme than in England, but each year, the benefits for our community will only ever be realised if a high proportion of the groups who are eligible for vaccination take up the offer. In particular, we know that when children are protected against flu, they can’t spread it to their families, carers and others within the community.”

Help for working parents

For children, the new service provided by GPs, to help working parents by offering the flu nasal vaccine to 2-, 3- and 4-year-old children in 46 nurseries, resulted in 56% of nursery age children (over 900) being protected (compared with 32% in 2016/17). In primary schools, almost 4,500 children from reception to year 6 were protected against flu (59%) compared to 2,500 children last year.

Consultant in Communicable Disease Control, Dr Ivan Muscat, who leads the Island’s efforts to keep flu infection under control, said “Whilst our different infrastructures and data collection systems prevent direct comparison of flu rates, the burden on our hospital, whilst significant, appears to be less dramatic than that seen in many parts of the UK. One definite difference is that two-thirds of our circulating strains are flu B, which affects young and middle-aged people who are less likely to require hospital admission. In the UK only half of the circulating strains in the UK are flu B, the rest are flu A, especially H3N2, which is similar to the strain that had a major impact in Australia during 2017. Flu A H3N2 predominantly affects the elderly, who are more likely to require admission to hospital.

“However the flu season isn’t over and I would strongly encourage people who have not yet been vaccinated to get vaccinated and to continue to maintain good respiratory, hand and general hygiene.”

Back to top
rating button