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Mums and dads urged to take up flu vaccination offer for their children

Published on Sep 18, 2018

Mums and dads in Scarborough and Ryedale are being urged to get their child vaccinated against the flu.

The vaccine is free for the majority of children aged two and three years old, primary school age children and youngsters with a health condition that puts them at greater risk from flu.

The annual vaccination programme in schools in our area is being delivered by nurses from Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust’s Childhood Immunisation Team.

Parents are being reminded to complete the online consent form for their child, available at www.hdft.nhs.uk/flu-consent or complete the paper form circulated by some schools.

The online consent form is easy to fill in and will take around 10 minutes. Parents will be prompted to type in their child’s school code, provided on the website and can also read a range of Frequently Asked Questions about the nasal flu vaccine.

For children aged two and three, the vaccine is available at their local GP practice.

Dr Greg Black, Governing Body member and Medicines Lead for NHS Scarborough and Ryedale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “Flu can be a very unpleasant illness in children causing fever, stuffy nose, dry cough, sore throat, aching muscles and joints, and extreme tiredness. This can last several days or more and in many cases will lead to a parent having to take time off work to look after their poorly child.

“Some children can get a very high fever, sometimes without the usual flu symptoms, and may need to go to hospital for treatment. Children under the age of five have the highest rate of hospital admissions due to flu. Serious complications of flu include a painful ear infection, acute bronchitis, and pneumonia.

“The nasal vaccine provided through the schools vaccination programme offers good protection against flu, particularly in young children. It also reduces the risk of a child passing on the virus to a more vulnerable member of their family, such as a baby brother or sister who is too young to be vaccinated, or elderly relative who is at greater risk from complications caused by the flu.

“This particular flu vaccination has been given to millions of children worldwide and is the single most effective protection against flu we have.”

Meanwhile, in a series of films for social media – also available to watch at www.hdft.nhs.uk/flu-consent – children from North Yorkshire have been giving their opinions about the nasal flu spray and why it’s important to have it. Youngsters Maisie, Jude, Reggie, Oliver and Noah remarked how “it tickles”, “it goes up a nose hole” and how “it protects my grandma”.

Lois Alderson, Clinical Lead for Childhood Immunisations in North Yorkshire said: “We had a lot of fun talking with our five youngsters and finding out what they thought about the nasal flu spray.

“As nurses we know the benefits of having the vaccine and we know parents do too. But we thought it would be interesting to see what some of the young people actually receiving the vaccine thought about it and if they understood why it was so important.

“And even if one child thought it would protect the moon too, it was great to see they knew why it was important and what the benefits were of having it.”

You can also watch each film here:

Maisie: https://youtu.be/Ts_4QU8r7x8

Reggie: https://youtu.be/mscrFf8vAFo

Jude: https://youtu.be/rRE2IK3QBPQ

Oliver: https://youtu.be/1DKuMFDTre0

Noah: https://youtu.be/ngu2pbd08QI

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