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Mother of two young children urges fellow parents and carers to get their children vaccinated against flu this year

A mother of two young children who works for the NHS is urging fellow parents and carers of young children to make sure they are vaccinated against flu to help stay well this winter.

Sabahat Hassan, who works for the Frimley Collaborative, always ensures that her daughters, aged 10 and 3, receive their flu vaccination on the NHS and this year will be no different.

“Protecting my girls from flu is something I do each year without giving it a second thought,” said Sabahat.

“In light of Covid-19, I feel it’s even more important to protect them and our loved ones against flu this year, as its one less thing to worry about.”

Sabahat’s eldest daughter Alyzeh will receive her flu vaccination at her school in Berkshire over the coming weeks as part of the national school’s immunisation programme.

Due to Alana’s age, she will be vaccinated at her GP practice.

Both will receive the vaccination in the form of a nasal spray which for most children is a quick and easy spray up the nose, making administration quick, painless and easy

This year, in addition to two and three-year-olds as well as primary school aged children, children in school year 7 will be offered the flu vaccination free on the NHS.

Vaccination sessions are being held in schools for primary school-aged children and those in Year 7 at secondary school. Children who do not attend a school will be invited to an alternative local venue. Please wait until an invitation and/or consent form is received and follow the instructions provided.

Parents with children aged two and three years olds, like Sabahat, should receive an invitation for their child to have the flu vaccination at their GP surgery before the winter. If you haven’t heard from your GP by early November, we would advise you to contact your practice directly to make an appointment.   

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 last several days or more. What’s more, this can be very easily passed on to others.

Many children can get a very high fever, sometimes without the usual flu symptoms, and may need to go to hospital for treatment. Serious complications of flu include a painful ear infection, acute bronchitis, and lung disease including pneumonia and bronchiolitis.

With Covid-19 in circulation this year, we are aware that some parents are concerned that coronavirus and influenza have similar symptoms. Our advice to parents is that they should keep their children at home and request a coronavirus test if their child has a new continuous cough, high temperature, or loss of or change in sense of taste or smell. Schools have received guidance on signs and symptoms, and this should have been shared with parents.

Children with health conditions, even if well managed, are at higher risk of severe complications if they get flu. It is especially important that these children are vaccinated.

If in doubt, visit the NHS website to find out if your child is eligible and where they can have the nasal spray flu vaccine.

Frimley Health and Care