Needle-free flu fight
12:01pm Saturday 5th October 2013 in News
CHILDREN in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan are being offered needle-free flu vaccines for the first time.
The new nasal spray will provide a quick and painless way to protect youngsters from seasonal flu.
Parents of two and three year-olds will be invited through the post to contact their GP to receive the vaccine. Children in school Year 7 are also being offered the nasal spray. Other at risk groups such as the over 65s, pregnant women and people with long term health conditions are also being encouraged to get the free injection version of the vaccine.
Dr Tom Porter, consultant in public health medicine with Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, said: “We would strongly encourage anyone who is eligible for the vaccine to take up the offer. The flu virus spreads easily and can be a serious illness. The vaccine is free, safe and effective. Each year the seasonal flu virus changes so even if you had a flu vaccine last year you will need one this year to
protect you from the current virus.
“This year for the first time the vaccine is available for children aged two and three, and those in school Year 7. The vaccine for children is a new nasal spray which is squirted up each nostril.
“It’s quick and painless and means your child will be less likely to become ill if they come into contact with the flu virus. It will also help protect others in the family and close friends who may be more susceptible to the virus.”
Immunisation sessions for Year 7 pupils will be held between now and December with information for parents being sent home with pupils around two weeks before they are due to happen.
Free flu jabs are available from GPs for those at greatest risk of flu. These include people aged 65 and over and younger people in particular ‘at risk’ groups. Pregnant women and those with long term health conditions such as asthma, chest or heart problems, lowered immunity and diabetes are also being encouraged to get protected.