Fife parents urged to get their children vaccinated against flu

Joshua 4 gets his flu vaccination from Practise Nurse Liz Gilespie. at Nothglen Medical Practice Glenrothes.
Joshua 4 gets his flu vaccination from Practise Nurse Liz Gilespie. at Nothglen Medical Practice Glenrothes.

Parents of two to five year olds are being reminded to get their child ready to fight flu this winter.

With the number of reported cases of flu in Scotland more than doubling last winter, NHS advice is for youngsters to be vaccinated early to ensure they’re protected.

The flu vaccine is given to children as a nasal spray. It only takes a few minutes, and provides protection for around a year.

To date, more than 1.6 million doses of the nasal vaccine have been given to children aged 2-11 as part of the Scottish childhood immunisation programme, and the vaccine will be offered to around 160,000 2-5 year olds this year.

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Four-year-old Joshua Stevenson from Glenrothes in Fife, became the latest child to receive his flu vaccination, at his local GP practice.

Dad, Neal Stevenson, said: “We’re always keen to get Joshua vaccinated early in the season if we can.

“He goes to pre-school nursery so we’re aware of the risk of him catching flu, or indeed spreading it to others.

“He also has a baby brother at home so we think it’s important to do all we can to protect the whole family against flu this winter.”

Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Gregor Smith, said: “Incidences of flu in children rose last winter, which is why we’re urging parents to get their children ready to fight flu ahead of winter.

“Flu can be serious and can result in even healthy children being hospitalised. It’s important for children to be vaccinated before winter fully sets in, as the virus can spread more easily when temperatures are low.

“I’d encourage parents not to delay in making an appointment with their GP. By everyone playing their part, we can stop the spread of flu this winter.”

Parents can arrange for their 2-5 year old child to be vaccinated by contacting their GP practice and making an appointment.

For further information visit readyforflu.scot or phone NHS Inform on 0800 22 44 88.