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Get your two or three-year-olds protected with the free flu nasal spray

Health and wellbeing

11 September 2023

a young child wearing a baseball cap back to front

Parents and guardians across Northamptonshire are being urged to get their child vaccinated with the free flu nasal spray which is now available.

The call from the NHS in Northamptonshire and Public Health teams at West and North Northamptonshire Councils comes as the Government prioritises flu vaccinations for toddlers who are amongst those groups who could have serious health implications from catching flu. That’s why children are being prioritised to receive the flu vaccine to protect them and significantly reduce the chance of them needing hospital care for flu.

Last year Northamptonshire saw a significant decrease in children aged two and three being vaccinated from previous years, with only 38% of two-year-olds and 41% of three-year-olds receiving the vaccine, meaning a higher proportion of children this age are at risk from catching the flu.

This year, both Public Health teams and the NHS in Northamptonshire are calling on parents and guardians to take up the offer of getting their two- or three-year-olds booked in as soon as possible, to ensure they are protected against the contagious infection.

As flu viruses change annually, a new nasal spray vaccine needs to be given each year, just like with the injection type flu vaccinations offered to adults. The child flu vaccine is usually given as a quick and painless spray up the nose – and it will not cause your child to have the flu. If your child is unable to have the nasal spray, an injection can be offered as an alternative.
More than half of children aged two and three years in Northamptonshire were not vaccinated last year. I strongly encourage all parents and guardians to get their child/children vaccinated against the flu, it is an important vaccination that will protect them as well as stop the spread of the illness to vulnerable family and friends.
Dr Naomi Caldwell, a GP in Northamptonshire and Deputy Chief Medical Officer for NHS Northamptonshire Integrated Care Board

Parents and guardians should now start to receive invitations from their GP practice for their child / children to receive the flu vaccine.

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