Has your child been offered the flu vaccine at school? Are you unsure about whether they should have it or not? Read our information about the vaccine here to make up your mind.
Will my child be offered the vaccine?
This year, the nasal spray flu vaccine is being offered to all children 2 to 10 years old (age at 31st August 2018). School aged children will be offered the vaccine at school. Those aged 2-3 will be offered it at their GP surgery. If your child misses the vaccine at school, or is home schooled, you will need to contact your local GP yourself to arrange the vaccine.
If your child has a long term health condition they can also have the vaccine if they’re aged 6months – 2 years or 11-17. Check their eligibility on the beatflu.org website.
The flu vaccine is given every year, usually in early autumn. You should receive an invitation and consent form from the school before the end of November. If you haven’t, then ask the school about it.
If your child can’t have the nasal flu spray vaccine you’ll need to arrange for them to have a flu injection at your GP surgery.
Why the fuss?
“Flu is just a bad cold, our children don’t need to be vaccinated right?”
Wrong! While flu (aka influenza) in healthy people usually gets better within a few days it can cause serious complications in others who have health conditions, are pregnant, are very young or older.
The vaccination programme takes place at this time of year because cases of flu increase during the winter months.
Is it safe?
Flu vaccines are very safe, and have been used around the World for over 10 years. Some children may have some side effects that include headaches and tiredness. It’s your choice whether you want to give your child the vaccine or not. You should consider that the impact of influenza on young people far outweighs the side effects of the vaccine.
You should also think about your child spreading flu to other people, perhaps older members of your family, very young children or pregnant women. If you have any concerns there’s lots of helpful information on the BeatFlu.org website. You could also speak to your GP, health visitor or practice nurse about any worries you may have.
Think you may have flu already?
If flu has already reared it’s ugly head at your house, then the following infographics by NHS Wales have some great advice about what you should do, and how to stop flu spreading.
If you need further advice or help and would like to talk to someone for advice, call our friendly, trained advisors on the FamilyPoint helpline. The helpline is open 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday. They can help you to find organisations that can help.