Flu protection extended to Year 3 children as part of winter campaign

Published: Friday 21st October 16

Wandsworth schoolchildren in year 3 will now be given the flu vaccine to help protect them against the potentially harmful disease.

The borough’s community immunisation team started the vaccination programme in borough schools this week, for all children in years 1, 2 and 3. Children aged between 2-4 years can get their flu vaccine at their GP practice. 

Parents have been asked for permission for their child to get the free nasal spray vaccination at school. It is also available from GPs.

Young children, like other at risk groups, are very vulnerable to flu. Children are more likely to spread flu to others, so protecting children from flu helps you to protect your whole family and the wider community. It is estimated that several million people get flu each winter, leading to more than 2,000 NHS intensive care admissions across the UK last year.

The programme will be extended gradually to older age groups in primary school in future years.

The move is part of a Public Health England campaign to help vulnerable people stay well over the winter months. 

In Wandsworth the council’s public health team has been encouraging all vulnerable groups, including the over-65s and people with long-term health conditions, to get the flu jab. The flu virus changes annually so you will need to make sure you have your flu jab once every year for it to work.

The council and its partners are also providing other support for residents who need help over the winter. A new service, Wandsworth and Richmond Assessment Point (WRAP), has been launched which will be a ‘one-stop-shop’, giving advice on staying warm, help with benefits and debts and advice on other local services. Call 0800 118 2327. 

The council are also working with Leonard Cheshire Disability to provide emergency support and winter warmer packs to those in need this winter.

The council’s health spokesman, Cllr Jim Maddan, said:

“It’s good news more of our children will get protection against this potentially harmful virus. I would urge all vulnerable people to get inoculated before the winter begins, and for vulnerable elderly people especially to prepare themselves for the cold weather.”

Find out more about the flu vaccine at www.wandsworth.gov.uk/flu.

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