NURSERY children have donned their superhero capes and masks to share an important message for parents and carers across the region – that there’s still time to have your child vaccinated against the flu.
The miniature superheroes have appeared in a new film to remind parents and carers to #DoYourBit and that it’s never been more important for children to get a flu vaccination.
Last year, more than four million children received the flu vaccine in England and this year the NHS aims to vaccinate more than five million.
Helen Talbot mum to superheroes Kieran, three, and Rowan, five, added: “Our whole family get the flu vaccine every year. For the kids it’s a very quick and simple small squirt up their nose – that’s it! But it protects them from a deadly virus and just as importantly it protects other people in our community who are frail or vulnerable from catching it – like grandparents or elderly neighbours.
“This year it feels especially important to get the vaccine and we were at the front of the queue to get it! I can only imagine how difficult it would be for anyone to fight off the flu in a normal year, but there is a real chance that people might have to fight off COVID and the flu in a very short time period. I can’t even imagine having my kids go through that, so I’m doing my best to protect them as much as possible.”
Children who are eligible for a free flu vaccine include those:
- aged two or three, on August 31 2020
- primary school children, reception to year six, and all year seven children in secondary school.
- children aged two to 17 with long-term health conditions
Lead for the North East and North Cumbria Flu Board and County Durham GP, Dr Neil O’Brien, said: “Flu can be extremely serious and the vaccination not only protects your child but it stops them from passing the virus on to other family members, including elderly grandparents, who may be more vulnerable to the effects of the disease.
‘So we are reminding parents and carers that there is still time to #DoYourBit and get your child vaccinated against flu. Uptake of the flu vaccination this year has generally been higher than in previous years but we would still like to see more children vaccinated, especially those aged 2-3, where uptake is lower.
“Getting the flu vaccine now will also help to free up our teams to focus on the COVID vaccine when it is really to be rolled out to the public.
“I would like to reassure parents and carers that’s it safe to have the vaccine and there are infection control procedures in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 if you are attending a GP surgery or other healthcare setting.
Dr O’Brien added: “The children’s vaccine is given as a nasal spray, which is quick and painless and is the best possible protection you can give your child against flu.
“The increase in eligible children this year will hopefully put us in the best possible position to protect as many people as possible this winter, when with flu and COVID-19 circulating at the same time.
“It is really important for all of us, young and old, to continue to do our bit to look after each other. Having a flu vaccination, washing our hands, covering our faces in public and socially distancing can help to protect us all.”