With flu season upon us, NHS Wales will be offering all children aged 2 to 6 a nasal spray flu vaccine to help protect them from flu.
Here’s what you need to know:
Why do children need to be protected from flu?
Flu can cause fever, body aches, headache, tiredness, blocked nose, cough and a sore throat lasting up till a week. Children may feel very unwell and for some it may lead to serious illness. Some children may need to be hospitalised due to complications. The flu vaccine helps protect children from flu and stops it spreading to family and friends.
Does the flu vaccine hurt?
Most children between 2 to 6 will be given the vaccine as a spray up the nose. This method gives better protection to children than the injection. It may be slightly uncomfortable for a few moments as the nasal spray is being given, but it shouldn’t hurt at all.
How to get the flu vaccine for your child
If you have a child between 2 to 6, your GP or your child’s school will contact you automatically. Your child will be given a medical consent form from school (if they are in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2) which you need to fill in and return as soon as possible. For children in other age groups, flu vaccines will be given to those who are at risk of flu complications.
I haven’t heard anything from the GP or school
If you haven’t heard anything, or you want more information about when and how your child will be vaccinated against flu, talk to your GP, practice nurse or your child’s school nurse.
The Public Health Wales website has plenty of helpful information on getting your child vaccinated for flu, such as side effects and details about the vaccine. It also has a very useful child flu vaccination eligibility checker.