Young children are ‘super-spreaders’ of the flu virus, according to England's Chief Medical Officer – who is urging parents to vaccinate their toddlers this winter
This year, the annual nasal spray flu vaccine is available for children aged two, three and four years old as part of the NHS childhood vaccination programme. However, only one in four have received it so far.
The flu vaccine for children is given as a single dose of nasal spray squirted up each nostril and, according to the NHS, ‘works even better than the injected flu vaccine with fewer side effects.’
READ: YOUR BABY’S IMMUNISATION CALENDAR
Flu can cause a fever, sore throat, aching muscles, extreme tiredness and even complications such as bronchitis and pneumonia if caught by a child.
Youngsters are more likely to spread the virus because they tend to have greater contact with others and may not cover their mouths when coughing and sneezing, or wash their hands enough.
READ: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE FLU VACCINE FOR TODDLERS
Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies said, ‘They also spread the virus easily and often pass flu to grandparents and other relatives who can become very ill, fast.
‘Giving two, three and four-year-olds the free nasal spray really is in everyone's interests if you want to help avoid a miserable winter for all the family.’
Has your toddler had their flu vaccine? Let us know below.