Seasonal Children's Flu Vaccination Programme Open

The annual nasal spray flu vaccine is now available for children in Lincolnshire from the school nursing team at Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS)

The nasal spray vaccine contains flu viruses that have been weakened to stop them causing flu. It will help a child build up immunity to flu in a similar way as natural infection (but without the symptoms).

Because the main flu viruses change each year, a new nasal spray vaccine has to be given each year, in the same way as the injectable flu vaccines.

As the vaccine is absorbed very quickly, it will still work even if a child has a runny nose, sneezes or blows their nose straight after being vaccinated.

Sarah Packwood, Immunisation Programme Lead at LCHS said: "The nasal spray flu vaccine will not only help protect your child from getting flu, it also stops the disease spreading from them to their family, carers and the wider population.

"Children are good at spreading flu, because they tend to sneeze everywhere and don't use tissues properly or wash their hands. Vaccinating them may also protect others that are vulnerable to flu such as babies, older people, pregnant women and people with serious long-term illnesses.

"The childhood flu vaccination programme is a great opportunity to protect families during the winter months"

Flu can be a very unpleasant illness in children causing fever, stuffy nose, dry cough, sore throat, aching muscles and joints, and extreme tiredness; this can often last several days. Some children may have more serious complications or pass the illness on to other family members.

Letters and consent forms will be circulated to parents through school. Vaccinations are scheduled to take place between mid-October and mid-December. Most children will receive a simple nasal spray with no needles involved.

Dates of when the school nurses are visiting schools across the county are published on the Lincolnshire Healthy Families website:

Children in school years one and two and all children and staff in special schools are being offered the vaccine as part of a national programme to extend flu vaccination to all children.

For children who do not attend school, the vaccination can be given at a local health centre.