Find out more about the flu jab in pregnancy and flu nasal spray for little ones:
The nasal spray vaccination is offered to the following groups of children free of charge;
- children aged two and three on August 31 2017 – that is, children born between September 1 2013 and August 31 2015
- children in reception class and school years one, two, three and four
- children aged 2 to 17 with long-term health conditions
Each surgery does things a little differently but if you haven’t received a letter inviting your pre-schooler to have the spray, or you want to book an appointment for your little one, please contact your local GP surgery.
Katrin with Mini Mumbler (3)
I knew about getting flu jabs when pregnant as I had one when pregnant with Teeny Mumbler, and I knew primary aged children were eligible for the flu nasal spray as the children in my classes disappear out of class to have it once I year. I wasn’t aware that 2-3 year olds could have these too, until I was contacted by the North Norfolk CCG to write this, so I booked an appointment!
I told Mini Mumbler we were going for a ‘check-up’ (singing the song from Doc McStuffins to make it sound more fun). If your little one is anything like mine, sometimes the more notice you give of something, the more time there is to think of a reason to be contrary about it. I thought if I told her the nurse was going to spray something up her nose she would overthink it and then have a bit of a meltdown when the time came.
We arrived for the ‘check-up’ (the lovely nurse played along of course) and were asked various allergy questions (one of the reasons why Teeny Mumbler couldn’t have it) and the final part, said the nurse, was the little whoosh up the nose. She pretended to do it to me first but Mini Mumbler seemed fairly compliant in having it done. Whoosh! Whoosh! both nostrils…done. The appointment lasted about 5 minutes, start to finish. Such a simple thing to help protect her and those around her from flu.
- Choosing the sticker (very important!) 2) WHOOSH! 3) Pleased with the butterfly sticker.
The groups being offered the adult flu vaccine are:
- Pregnant women
- Those aged 65 or over
- Those aged under 65 with long-term conditions
Pregnant Mumbler Holly:
“It may have seemed a little insignificant at the time but hopefully, as one heavily pregnant lady to another, I can tip you over the edge and convince you to follow in my weighty tracks and get the flu jab. Here are four reasons you should consider it:
- It really doesn’t hurt very much. Despite the misleading verb, my experience of having the flu jab has never involved anything akin to jabbing. I congratulated my nurse on the gentleness with which she administered mine; she had clearly honed her technique to avoid making her patients cry.
- It doesn’t take long. My surgery have an open day (a bit like a twisted summer fete where only those vulnerable to disease and illness are invited) but they do allow those savy enough to book an appointment to skip the queue. My appointment took less than two minutes. I actually considered hanging about in the waiting room a bit to read my book (check Facebook) and make the most of the daddy day care at home.
- It could save you getting the flu. I’ve never had it but I remember my mum’s hair fell out in clumps when she had it – that memory was enough to get me to shift my mass off the sofa and to my surgery. My thighs may have taken on tree trunk status and my body generally resembles that of a beached whale but I will not relinquish the thick and lushious hair of pregnancy without a fight.
- It’s free.”
Pic: Holly at 38 weeks pregnant.
Still unsure whether to have the flu jab or have your child get the nasal spray?
“Dr Anoop Dhesi, Chair of North Norfolk CCG and Partner at Stalham Staithe GP Surgery said: “Flu can be incredibly unpleasant for many people but for a select few it can be fatal. The best way for people to protect themselves and loved ones around them is to get the vaccination on offer especially those offered it for free on the NHS.”
A previous pilot programme showed vaccinating children had dual benefit; as well as protecting them from flu, it also protects others, such as parents, grandparents and siblings, as children are ‘super spreaders’ and are much more likely to infect others.
Please call your local GP surgery to enquire about a flu vaccination now.”
Information and graphics provided by the North Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group, NHS.