Flu can be a very unpleasant illness in children causing fever, stuffy nose, dry cough, sore throat, aching muscles and joints, and extreme tiredness. This can last several days or more. These symptoms are also similar to Covid-19. Covid-19 symptoms are a high temperature, a new continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste. If you or a member of your household displays any of these symptoms get a test for Covid-19 by calling 119 or visiting gov.uk.
Some children can get a very high fever, sometimes without the usual flu symptoms, and may need to go to hospital for treatment. Serious complications of flu include a painful ear infection, acute bronchitis, and pneumonia.
Having the flu vaccine will help protect your child from what can be a very nasty illness in children. Children under the age of five years have the highest rate of hospital admissions due to flu.
It will also reduce the chance of others in your family, who could be at greater risk from flu, such as grandparents or those with long term health conditions, getting flu from your child. It can help you avoid having to take time off work or other activities because you are ill or need to look after your sick child.
Due to the pandemic, flu vaccination clinics may be held in a slightly different way this year.
Flu vaccines will be released in batches, according to both availability and also the need to prioritise those most at risk. This means that flu clinics will be staggered in the months ahead.
For two and three year olds, your child’s GP surgery should contact you about getting them vaccinated before the winter. If you haven’t heard from your surgery by early December, contact them directly to make an appointment.
For primary school-aged children and those in year 7, a vaccination session will be held at school during the autumn term. Your local healthcare team will contact you via the school.
Please book your child in for a flu vaccine. It’s free because they need it and will help protect them, you and your family and the NHS.