Toddlers in Bolton to get flu vaccine for first time
FLU vaccinations are being given to two and three-year-old children who live in Bolton for the first time this winter.
Parents are now being contacted by their GP urging them to have their children immunised against the virus.
The vaccination programme has been launched to tackle the spread of the killer virus — which kills up to 4,000 people every year and lands thousands more in hospital. The vaccine will be given in the form of a nasal spray called Flunez — and no injection or needle is used.
Dr Wirin Bhatiani, chairman of NHS Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group is urging parents to have their children vaccinated.
He said:“This year for the first time all two and three- year-old children in Bolton will be eligible for a flu vaccination.
“I would encourage parents to take up this opportunity and get their children vaccinated. This is a painless vaccination in the form of a nasal spray.
“Although young children are not usually hit hard by flu this will slow the spread of the illness and so protect the whole family, including older relatives and vulnerable adults, who may be particularly susceptible.
“Flu is an unpleasant illness but for most people does not present any major problems.
“However, for those who are more vulnerable it can be severe and could lead to serious complications. GP practices are keen to offer you a flu vaccine if you are in a high risk group, which includes people aged over 65, pregnant women, and those with long term health conditions such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease.”
Cllr Linda Thomas, deputy leader of Bolton Council, said parents would be receiving invitations — along with supporting information — to attend the surgery with their children.
She said: “Flu can be such a debilitating illness for the very young and the elderly, or those with existing health problems, and it’s important to try and prevent the spread of flu in order to protect the most vulnerable groups of people.
“Flu presents as a range of unpleasant signs and symptoms, and children contracting the illness should be kept away from schools and nurseries to avoid it spreading.
“We would strongly urge parents of two and three-year-olds to arrange for their children to be immunised and protect themselves and the wider community against the spread of flu in Bolton.”
Parents can contact their GP surgery or health visitor for more information or visit nhs.uk/child-flu
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