5 reasons to vaccinate your under-5s against flu

If you are a parent of eligible pre-school children, please book your child in for the nasal spray vaccine that protects against flu.

The UKHSA has published the following 5 reasons that your under-5s should have the flu vaccine.

1. Protect your child

Children under 5 have the highest hospitalisation rate due to flu – 6,000 in England last winter. Vaccination cuts the hospitalisation risk by around two-thirds. It helps protect against complications like pneumonia and painful ear infections.

2. Protect family and friends

Pre-schoolers are excellent at spreading germs! Vaccinating your child helps reduce the chance of others in your family who are higher risk, like grandparents or those with long-term conditions, getting flu.

3. No needles!

The nasal spray is painless and easy to have. It contains weakened flu viruses to help your child build immunity and fight off flu. The vaccine is absorbed into the nose really quickly, so even if your child sneezes right after, it still works. For children who can’t have the nasal spray for medical reasons, an injection is available

4. It’s better than having flu

The nasal spray helps protect against flu, has been given to millions of children in the UK and worldwide, and has an excellent safety record. In the last few years, the protection that children get from vaccination has been consistently higher than for adults. The vaccine is updated yearly to match flu strains, so we recommend vaccinating yearly, even if vaccinated last year.

5. Avoid costs and time off work

Juggling a sick child and work is tough. Vaccinating isn’t just about your child’s health, it’s smart for parents. If your child gets flu, you may have to take time off or find childcare. The nasal spray vaccine means fewer missed workdays and is free on the NHS.