Parents with young children are being urged to get them vaccinated against the misery of flu as winter approaches.
Children who were aged two, three and four on or before 31 August 2016 will be eligible for a free flu vaccination and Cannock Chase Clinical Commissioning Group is calling on parents and guardians to look out for a letter offering their child the opportunity.
Heather Johnstone, Chief Nurse at the CCG, said: “We know coughs and colds are already starting to spread which means flu season is right behind. Children aged two, three and four are more vulnerable and can be hit hard by flu. In addition, they spread infections easily. They’re not bothered about covering their mouth when they cough, sneeze, or keeping their hands clean. And if they’re around family members of friends that are over 65 or who have a health condition, they’re putting them at risk too.
“The vaccination is the best protection against what is an unpredictable virus. It can cause severe illness and can even be fatal in some cases. It’s also vital that children get vaccinated every year, vaccines are not for life and just as the virus changes each year so does the vaccine – it will protect your child and those they come into contact with.
“So we’re asking that parents and carers pay attention to the letter they will be receiving.”
In addition, children in schools years one, two and - new for this year - three will be given the free nasal spray at school. And children with long-term health conditions up to the age of 17 are eligible to receive a free flu vaccination at their GP practice or local pharmacy.
Heather Johnstone added: “We understand being a parent keeps people busy but this five-minute job is really important for the health of your child and your loved ones. It really isn’t worth the risk so please get your child protected.”
If you haven’t received a letter contact your child’s school or your GP practice.
For more information visit www.nhs.uk/staywell