The annual flu vaccination programme is under way and health bosses in Nottingham are urging parents to make sure their children are protected to help stop the spread this winter.

Children aged between six months and two years in clinical risk groups, and all children aged two to three, can get a flu vaccination via their GP. While all primary-aged children (Reception to Year 6) and secondary-aged children (Years 7 to 11) will be offered the vaccination at school through the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire School Aged Immunisation Service.

All pregnant people (including those who become pregnant during the flu season) will also be offered the vaccine.

Depending on their age, health conditions and other factors, children and young people will either be offered a nasal spray or injection. 

The flu virus is contained within the millions of tiny droplets which come out of the nose and mouth when an infected person coughs or sneezes and is often very unpleasant for children, who can easily catch and spread flu to others.

Vaccinating children and young people also protects those who are more vulnerable to severe flu and serious health conditions, such as older people and those with a long-term medical condition or weakened immune system.

Lucy Hubber, Director of Public Health at Nottingham City Council said: “The flu vaccine is the best protection we have against the virus. In most children, flu can be an unpleasant experience but for others it can be very serious, even life-threatening. 

“Thousands of children across the country need to go to hospital for treatment every winter, including intensive care.  Complications caused by flu can include painful swelling in the ear, bronchitis and pneumonia.

“Getting the flu vaccination is one of the most effective things we can do to help protect us from illness and reduce the spread. It can also protect others, including babies, grandparents and people with weakened immune systems who are more at risk of getting seriously ill from the virus.”.

People can help stop the spread of the virus by washing hands regularly with soap and warm water, cleaning surfaces to kill germs, using tissues to cover the mouth and nose after coughing and sneezing, and then disposing of used tissues as quickly as possible.

For more information on the children’s flu vaccine visit: