FOR UK HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS ONLY

This section is intended for healthcare professionals and associated healthcare employees who are involved in patient care or service provision for influenza immunisation in the UK only – this includes (but is not limited to) GPs, nurses, practice managers, pharmacists, and pharmacy counter assistants.

I AM A HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL OR ASSOCIATED HEALTHCARE EMPLOYEE I AM NOT A HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL OR ASSOCIATED HEALTHCARE EMPLOYEE

Risks from flu if you are a child

Flu can be a more serious infection for young children than adults1. They are at greater risk of developing complications such as bronchitis, pneumonia or a middle ear infection, which may require hospital treatment1.

It is also especially important for children with long-term health conditions to avoid catching flu, as they are at increased risk of developing the above complications1 and their symptoms may also worsen. These conditions include1:

 

Protecting children from flu

Vaccination is the most effective way to avoid developing the flu2, and children in certain age groups and those with certain health conditions are offered a free flu vaccination on the NHS. Please check eligibility with your GP3. The vaccine is usually given as a single spray squirted up each nostril. Children unable to have the nasal spray vaccine may be able to have the injectable flu vaccine instead1.

 

Other ways to avoid infection

You can also take additional steps, such as avoiding public transport and crowds with your child. However, if you’re unable to avoid public transport (for example, if you need to get your child to hospital for treatment or an appointment), wash your and their hands after every trip, use the antiseptic hand gel dispensers in the hospital regularly, cover your nose and mouth if you sneeze or cough, and dispose of any used tissues as quickly as possible.

 

Why vaccination for children is especially important

Children are great at spreading germs – including flu. This is because they may not use tissues properly or wash their hands after coughing or sneezing.1

So vaccinating children can actually help protect a wider population – including their parents or carers, elderly relatives such as grandparents, and younger siblings (not to mention classmates and friends)1. This is known as herd immunity.

Children in eligible age groups and those with certain health conditions, should routinely be offered a flu vaccination at your GP practice or at their school as part of the NHS Childhood vaccination programme. Some pharmacies in the UK also offer free vaccination for children. Please ask your GP surgery or your child’s school for more information.

 

 

References

  1. NHS Choices. Children’s Flu Vaccine. July 2016. Available online: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/pages/child-flu-vaccine.aspx (accessed July 2018)
  2. World Health Organization. Influenza (Seasonal) Fact Sheet, January 2018. Available online: http://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/influenza-(seasonal) (accessed July 2018)
  3. Public Health England. National flu immunisation programme plan for 2018 to 2019. March 2018.  Available online: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-flu-immunisation-programme-plan (accessed July 2018)

Adverse Event Reporting

I AM A HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL OR ASSOCIATED EMPLOYEE I AM NOT A HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL OR ASSOCIATED EMPLOYEE