Free nasal spray flu vaccine for toddlers

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The NHS in Lincolnshire and Lincolnshire County Council are joining forces to offer a free nasal spray flu vaccine to all children aged two and three.

They will also offer free vaccinations for those in at risk groups and carers

Flu is a highly contagious infection that anyone can catch, but can cause serious complications for people in at risk groups.

This includes people aged 65 or over, pregnant women, anyone with a long term health condition such as severe asthma, chest or heart complaints and diabetes, carers and health care staff looking after patients.

GP surgeries across the county will be writing to those within the at risk groups to offer them a free flu vaccine this year.

Dr Pete Holmes, GP for NHS Lincolnshire East Clinical Commissioning Group said: “To help stop the spread of flu this year GPs across Lincolnshire will be offering a new nasal spray flu vaccine to children aged two and three.

“This is in addition to people in at risk groups such as pregnant women, anyone with a lowered immunity or a long term health condition such as severe asthma, a chest or heart complaint, or diabetes.

“Flu is not like a cold. It can make existing medical conditions much worse and, in very serious cases, can develop into bronchitis and pneumonia which may need hospital treatment.

“To avoid any unnecessary visits to hospital this year, stay flu safe and get the vaccine.”

Dr Tony Hill, Director of Public Health for Lincolnshire County Council also commented: “We are encouraging everyone in the county who knows someone within an at risk group to remind them to get the flu vaccine.

“Carers play a big role in looking after vulnerable and elderly people, it’s important they get the flu vaccine to protect themselves, but also to protect those they care for.

“The flu vaccine changes every year to fight the latest strains of flu, so even if you had a jab last winter you need another one this year to stay flu safe. The jab doesn’t contain the ‘live’ virus so it cannot give you flu.”

If you haven’t heard from your GP by the end of October, contact them to arrange a convenient appointment and get your jab. It’s quick, safe and free for those most at risk from the virus.

For more information, speak to your GP or local pharmacist, or visit www.nhs.uk/flu.