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Protect your child and family from the flu virus this winter

Parents and guardians of young children in Wirral are being reminded that children aged 2 and 3 years of age are entitled to a free flu vaccine this winter. Last winter a total of 3,070 young children had the vaccine across Wirral.

Julie Kelly is Head of Public Health for NHS England-Improvement. She said:
“People sometimes think a bad cold is flu, but in reality having flu can often be much worse, especially for young children. It can increase the risk of developing more serious illnesses such as bronchitis and pneumonia, or can make existing conditions worse. In the worst cases, flu can result in a stay in hospital, or even death.”

Children aged 2 and 3 years old are being offered a free flu vaccine, which is given as a nasal spray. Parents and guardians will be contacted by their GP practice and invited to attend a vaccination clinic.

Children can also spread flu to friends and family. Dr Paula Cowan, GP partner at the Eastham Group Practice and Chair of NHS Wirral CCG, said:
“This year more than ever it’s important to ensure you take up the offer of the flu vaccine for your child. Not only will it help protect them but also the rest of your family and friends will be provided with some protection - as children are big transmitters of flu.”

In light of the levels of COVID-19 circulating, extra precautions have been put in place to reduce the chance of virus spreading. Healthcare staff at flu vaccination clinics will be wearing face coverings and you’ll be asked to wear one too, when you take your child for their appointment. There may be different arrangements while you’re waiting to have the vaccine and you may have it in a different place to normal. These changes are happening to make sure it is safe for you to attend.

For more information about the flu and the vaccination programme go to