NHS Fife urges parents to vaccinate children against flu

Flu vaccine still. Pic courtesy of NHS Fife
Flu vaccine still. Pic courtesy of NHS Fife

Parents in Fife are being urged to act now to reduce the risk of their children contracting Flu this winter.

Flu is very infectious and can be serious. Every year in Scotland, children are hospitalised for the treatment of flu or its complications.

Facts about the flu vaccine:

- it helps protect your child against flu and reduces the chance of them spreading the virus to others

- it cannot cause flu

- it is being offered to all primary school aged children in Fife, as well as children aged 2–5 years who are not yet in primary school.

- it will be offered as a simple nasal spray that’s quick to administer, easily absorbed, and pain free.

An alternative form of the flu vaccine will be available for children who are unable to have the nasal spray.

Primary school children will be vaccinated at school. At the beginning of the new school term, parents should have received the flu vaccine consent form to make sure their child can receive the free flu vaccine. The primary school vaccination programme will shortly begin and parents who have not yet returned their child’s form are being reminded that it is not too late to do so.

If for any reason a form has been lost, a replacement can be obtained by contacting Fife’s Immunisation Team by email at fife-uhb.mcip@nhs.net.

All children aged 2–5 years and not yet in primary school will be offered the vaccine between October and December.

Parents should contact their local your GP practice to arrange an appointment for your child.

Director of Public Health, Dona Milne, explained why it is important that children in Fife are vaccinated: “Last year we had a bad flu season and the number of flu cases in children rose.

“Flu can be particularly unpleasant, even in healthy children, so it is important to ensure they are vaccinated against the virus.

“As young children do not always cover their noses or mouths when coughing or sneezing, the virus spreads very quickly in schools and nurseries.

“We want to avoid children missing out on school because of the flu.

“The vaccine is pain-free and not only helps protect the child, but limits the opportunity for the virus to be spread to others, such as elderly relatives and those with underlying health conditions for whom flu can be particularly serious.”

For further information on the flu vaccination visit www.readyforflu.scot