Flu vaccine offer for Rotherham two-year-olds

TWO-year-old children in Rotherham will be offered a new flu vaccine this winter.

Public Health England and NHS England are urging people who are offered the flu vaccine to protect themselves from flu this winter by ensuring they get vaccinated against the virus.

For the first time this year, a nasal spray vaccine will be offered to healthy two and three year old children.

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This marks the first step in an extension to the national flu vaccination programme, which will eventually include yearly vaccination of all two- to 16-year olds.

A study published this week by Public Health England (PHE) and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, found children are key spreaders of the flu virus.

Young children aged two and three will be offered the nasal spray vaccine to protect them against flu, as their close contact with each other means they are more likely to transmit the virus to other more vulnerable groups, including infants and older people.

A national advertising campaign is also being launched today by PHE to encourage parents of two to three year old children, as well as people aged 65 and over, adults and children with long term health conditions and pregnant women, to take up the offer of vaccination.

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For information on how to get your child vaccinated, contact your local GP surgery.

Steve Hackett, director of commissioning for NHS England in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw, said: “Flu is a nasty illness which can spread easily. This extension to the vaccination programme for children will not only protect more children, it will have a wider health impact in terms of protecting other people who they come into contact with.”