More children treated in flu jab programme

A major flu vaccination campaign started this week in the Whitby and district area.
A major flu vaccination campaign started this week in the Whitby and district area.

The Stay Well This Winter campaign launched in North Yorkshire this week as part of the biggest ever flu vaccination programme in England.

This year around 400,000 children aged 2-7 years across the Yorkshire region will be offered protection as the scheme is extended to Year 3 pupils.

At risk adults, including those with long-term health conditions, pregnant women and those over 65 will also be offered flu vaccination.

Building on the success of last year, children aged 2, 3 and 4 can get the vaccination from their GP. Parents of children in school years 1, 2 and 3 are asked to give permission for their child to receive the free nasal spray vaccination at school.

Children are most likely to spread flu to others, so targeting them helps protect the wider community too. It is estimated that several million people get flu each winter.

Dr Kevin Smith, deputy director, Healthcare, from PHE in Yorkshire and The Humber said: “Flu can be much more dangerous for children than parents realise, and of course, when they get it, they tend to spread it around the whole family.

“The nasal spray is a quick, easy and painless way to help prevent young children catching flu. Although people don’t think that flu is a serious illness, it can be dangerous.

“Indeed, data shows that children under the age of five are the most likely to be admitted to hospital for flu compared to any other age group.

“Getting the vaccine is the best way to help protect against catching flu. So I urge all parents of children aged 2-7 to get their children vaccinated.”