Children aged two to eight can be protected against flu with a simple, free NHS nasal spray vaccine this winter.
The vaccine, which involves no needles, is available to children who were aged between two and eight on 31 August.
Public Health Minister, Rebecca Evans AM, launched this year’s Flu Campaign in Penywaun Primary School, Aberdare on October 2nd and reiterated it is vital that those most at risk take advantage of the free vaccine: “Influenza can be a life-threatening illness for people who are at risk due to their age, an underlying health problem, or because they are pregnant. Sadly, influenza kills people in Wales every year.
“Influenza spreads very easily. Extending the programme to more children this year will help protect them from catching flu, and will also prevent them spreading it to others in the community who may be very vulnerable. Last year’s children’s vaccine was very effective and it’s good to know that so many young people were protected.
“People can be seriously ill with influenza, and a flu vaccination is the best way to protect against it, so make sure you get protected soon, for your own and other people’s sake.”
Cwm Taf University Health Board’s school immunisation team were at the school immunising pupils and the Minister was able to speak to the team about the benefits of the vaccination.
Influenza can affect children severely and in recent years in Wales, children and adults have been admitted to hospital and intensive care units with flu. The age range for children to receive this vaccine has been extended this year to include children in primary school year four, so more children will be protected this winter than ever before.
For most children the recommended flu vaccination is a nasal spray, which is quick, safe, and completely pain free.
Director of Public Health at Cwm Taf University Health Board, Dr Kelechi Nnoaham said: “This vaccination is really important. Young children are particularly at risk of serious complications of influenza because their immune systems are not yet fully developed so they can’t fight off infections like influenza as well as older children and adults can.
“Influenza is easily spread within families and in places like nurseries, playgroups and schools, toddlers and children are often in very close proximity to each other and especially susceptible to any circulating germs. Vaccination can help protect individual children from flu and also help stop it spreading to the wider community.”
To find out when the health board’s immunisation team is in your child’s school, go to http://cwmtaf.wales/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/School-dates-flu-team.pdf