Free flu vaccinations available for children

PARENTS of two-and-three-year-olds are being urged to help their little ones avoid flu this winter by taking them for their free nasal flu vaccinations.

Vaccinating more two to three-year-old children is a key ambition of this year’s flu vaccination campaign, launched by Greater Manchester Health and Care Partnerships and supported by Tameside Council and Tameside and Glossop Clinical Commissioning Group.

Councillor Eleanor Wills, Tameside Council executive member responsible for health, took her two-year-old daughter Enid for her free flu nasal vaccination at her GP practice.

She said: “I know not all parents realise their two to three-year-olds can have a free flu vaccination so I want to help highlight that all they need to do is contact their GP practice to find out more.

“Flu can be very severe for little ones – the free nasal vaccination is a quick no needle way to protect little ones from flu, helping them to keep well for nursery and helping to prevent flu from spreading to the rest of family too.

“I would also urge everyone else who is eligible for a free flu vaccination to contact their GP practice and get their jab to protect themselves this winter.”

Flu can cause fever, headaches, aches and pains in joints and muscles with extreme tiredness.

For most people it is an unpleasant and self-limiting illness but for some groups of people it can develop into a far more serious illness leading to a hospital admission.

Every year across the UK people die from flu. Flu vaccination offers the best protection.

Flu is very infectious and can be easily spread to others, especially by children.

As well as having the vaccination if they are eligible, people are advised to cover their mouth and nose when they cough or sneeze, dispose of dirty tissues in a bin and wash hands frequently to help prevent spread of flu.

Vaccinating children not only helps to keep them well, it can also help to protect their family and more vulnerable members of the community too.

Free flu vaccinations are available at GP practices across Tameside to people who need extra protection if they catch flu.

Adults can also choose to get their flu vaccinations from a participating pharmacist instead.

All primary school aged children are offered a vaccination at school – parents just need to remember to sign and return the consent forms.

Anyone who qualifies for a free flu jab (see list below) or has children aged two and three years old, can visit their GP practice website for further information or give them a call:
• All adults aged 65 years and over
• People with long term health conditions from six months of age to 64 years
• People with learning disabilities
• Pregnant women
• Children aged two or three on August 31, 2019
• All primary school aged children
• Carers of any person who has a disability or caring for an older person
• Household contacts of people who are immunosuppressed

People who work in health and social care are also encouraged to have the flu vaccination to protect themselves and the people they care for. Health and social care workers should contact their employer to find out how to get their free flu vaccination this year.

The best time to have a flu vaccine is before the end of November but NHS vaccines are available to March 31.

The flu vaccination campaign forms part of Public Health England’s wider Help Us Help You campaign.

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