There is a special flu vaccine which works really well in children and this is given by a nasal spray in school. There are some children who cannot have the nasal spray flu vaccine; children who have severe asthma, or who are not feeling well when the nurse visits, or those who have to be really careful of germs or those who have a really, really bad reaction known as anaphylaxis when they eat eggs which makes them very unwell. There might also be some children who take a medicine like aspirin and because of that they cannot have it.
There is also another film for older children which tells them more about the flu vaccine.
This year, the flu vaccine is being offered to:
- Children aged two, three and four years ¹
- Children in school years 1,2 and 3²
- Children with a health condition that puts them at greater risk from flu
- All children of primary school-age in some parts of the country (in former test sites)
¹is born between 1 September 2011 and 31 August 2014
²is born between 1 September 2008 and 31 August 2011
Children’s vaccine programme
If your birthday is between 1st September 2004 and 31st August 2010, the nurse will visit your school to give you the nasal spray flu vaccine. This is a spray which squirts a small amount of the vaccine up each of your nostrils. Before coming to school, the nurse sends a letter home, this is used for your parents or carer’s to agree that you can have the vaccination. Children age two, three and four years will be given the vaccination at their general practice usually by the practice nurse.
After you have seen a nurse, you will get a certificate to say that you have had the nasal flu spray. Make sure you show that to your parents or carer. It tells them about what happened and it is important that they read it.
Sometimes after having the vaccine you can feel a little unwell. You might have a headache or a fever or not feel too hungry. This does not happen to everyone, but you should tell your parents or a grown-up looking after you how you feel.
For more information about the nasal flu vaccine click on your local area information.