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Vaccinating young children against flu a key priority for GPs this autumn

13 October 2022

GP practices across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire will invite all children aged 2 or 3 years old (on 31 August 2022) to receive their annual flu nasal spray vaccine this autumn.

Young children can become very ill with flu. Two and three-year-old children are a priority group as not only are children of this age super spreaders of flu, they’re also one of the groups most at risk of serious illness and hospitalisation.

Dr Joanne McCarthy, Deputy Director of Public Health at Hywel Dda University Health Board, said: “Flu is caused by the influenza virus. It can be a very unpleasant illness for children and also lead to serious problems, such as bronchitis and pneumonia.

“The pandemic has made us much more aware that vaccination saves lives and reduces hospitalisations. Vaccination may not stop your child from catching flu, but it makes it far less likely that your child will be severely ill or need hospitalisation.”

The children's nasal spray flu vaccine is safe and effective and is offered every year to children to help protect them against flu.

If your child is aged between 6 months and 2 years and has a long-term health condition that makes them at higher risk from flu, they are also eligible but will be offered a flu vaccine injection instead of the nasal spray.

Please wait to be contacted by your GP practice and please make every effort to keep the appointment given.

If you have any questions about vaccinations, you can ask your GP surgery or other healthcare professionals for advice. More information is also available on the Public Health Wales website https://phw.nhs.wales/fluvaccine.

After vaccination, some children and young people may get a temperature, feel tired, have a headache, have aching muscles or have a reduced appetite for a day or two. The nasal spray may cause a runny or blocked nose and the injection can leave a sore arm. Other reactions are less common.

You can find out more about flu vaccines, including their contents and possible side effects, at www.medicines.org.uk/emc. Enter the name of the vaccine in the search box. The brand of nasal spray flu vaccine available in the UK is called Fluenz Tetra.