Lincolnshire parents are being asked to do the right thing this winter by making sure that their child receives a free flu vaccination.
This year, the message is more important than ever before, due to fears about a second surge of coronavirus and the importance of protecting children’s chest, lungs and immune system.
Concerns like these have led the NHS to expand the number of children eligible to receive the flu vaccination to include all Year 7 pupils at secondary schools.
Other age groups eligible for the free flu vaccination include:
- all primary age children – aged from 4 years to 11 years of age
- all children who attend a Special Educational Needs school age 4 years to 19 years of age.
Up to 66,000 school pupils across Lincolnshire are eligible for a free flu vaccination but securing parental consent has proved much harder this year due to the coronavirus lockdown forcing the closure of local schools.
Tina Bramley, Strategic Lead for Children’s Specialist Services from Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust who administer the free flu vaccination programme across all Lincolnshire schools said:
“Flu is serious and can be very unpredictable. Many of those who are vulnerable if they get COVID-19 are also those most at risk from the complications of flu.
We want to make sure that all local children are given the very best protection against this year’s flu viruses, particularly after the coronavirus pandemic and concerns about a second surge taking hold this winter. By protecting children from flu, we can also help stop the spread of the virus to their family, friends and the wider community.”
The flu vaccination is free and is easily administered by a nasal spray for the majority of children.
All vaccinations are given at school, minimising the inconvenience for parents and provided under close supervision by our nurses. And by making sure children are protected, it helps to minimise any further time lost at school for local children.
Providing consent for your child to receive their free flu vaccination can be easily done online and takes just a few minute – simply visit www.lincolnshirecommunityhealthservices.nhs.uk/flu-consent
Flu is serious and can lead to complications like bronchitis, pneumonia and painful ear infections.
Children under the age of five years old have the highest rate of hospital admissions of any age group if they catch the flu virus.